Archive for solar flare

The sun has unleashed 3 separate solar storms that have combined to smash into Earth’s atmosphere

Posted in 2015, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2015 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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Forecasters say the storm will continue tonight, causing the huge aurora to be visible from the Earth’s north. It should be seen in much of Europe, as long as there are no clouds, and may even be visible as far south as the Canadian border with the US.

But the phenomenon could cause problems with electricity supplies here.

The US Government’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWCP) said: ‘Aurora watchers in North America, especially northern states of the US, should stay alert.  

‘The geomagnetic storm that began on 22 June has reached G4 (Severe) levels once again as of 0513 UTC (0113 EDT) on 23 June. 

‘Solar wind conditions remain highly favourable for continued Strong Geomagnetic storming, with both fast solar wind and strong magnetic fields.’ 

‘This is the very early stages of an event that will play out over many hours, with SWPC forecasting continuing storm level intensities into tomorrow. 

On April 14th, 2015 an unstable filament of magnetism rose up and erupted from the sun’s eastern limb, stretching itself out almost 700,000 km long.

Posted in 2015, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , on April 17, 2015 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the first moments of a very high-rising prominence

The magnetic loop shown above quickly exited SDO’s field of view. It kept going … and going… until it stretched itself out almost 700,000 km long. In East Devon, UK, amateur astronomer David Strange was monitoring the sun and witnessed the extraordinary stretch through the eyepiece of a backyard solar telecope. French astrophotographer Sylvain Weiller saw it, too. For comparison, the prominence was half the diameter of the sun and twice as long as the distance between Earth and the Moon. “It went to an unbelievable height,” says Weiller.

Part of the prominence snapped off and formed the core of a bright CME: movie. The expanding cloud billowed away from the sun’s eastern limb, well off the sun-Earth line, and is not expected to hit our planet. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

http://www.spaceweather.com/

Sunspot AR2130 is directly facing Earth and it has a complex ‘delta-class’ magnetic field that harbors energy for strong flares

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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The question is, will this stubbornly-quiet sunspot actually erupt? NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of M-flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on August 4th.Solar Flare alerts: text, voice

http://spaceweather.com/

M-CLASS SOLAR FLARE & ELECTRIC-BLUE SUNRISE

Posted in 2014, astronomy with tags , , , on July 8, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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Forecasters expected a solar flare today, and indeed one has occurred. But it came from an unexpected source. Emerging sunspot AR2113 showed that it is capable of strong flares with an M6-class eruption at 1630 UT on July 8th. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash

Ionizing radiation from the flare briefly disturbed the propagation of shortwave radio transmissions on the dayside of Earth, but conditions have since returned to normal. The impulsive flare might have produced a coronal mass ejection (CME); if so, the storm cloud is almost certainly not heading toward Earth. For now, this sunspot is too far off the sun-Earth line to produce geoeffective CMEs.

With this flare, AR2113 joins two other sunspots capable of potent activity: AR2108 and AR2109. NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% chance of M-flares and a 15% chance of X-flares on July 8th. Solar flare alerts: textvoice

This morning in Russia, the sunrise was electric-blue. Bright bands of noctilucent clouds zig-zagged like lightning across the twilight sky, continuing a two-day display that has delighted observers across northern Europe. Michael Zavyalov sends this picture taken July 8th from the city of Yaroslavl:

“Another night with bright noctilucent clouds (NLCs) in Yaroslavl!” says Zavyalov. “We could even see their reflection in the water.”

NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. Seeded by “meteor smoke,” they form at the edge of space 83 km above Earth’s surface. When sunlight hits the tiny ice crystals that make up these clouds, they glow electric blue. 

In the northern hemisphere, July is the best month to see them. NLCs appear during summer because that is when water molecules are wafted up from the lower atmosphere to mix with the meteor smoke. That is also, ironically, when the upper atmosphere is coldest, allowing the ice crystals of NLCs to form.

The natural habitat of noctilucent clouds is the Arctic Circle. In recent years, however, they have spread to lower latitudes with sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This will likely happen in 2014 as well. Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see blue-white tendrils zig-zagging across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.

http://spaceweather.com/

M7-CLASS SOLAR FLARE : Sunspot AR2036 erupted on April 18th at 1307 UT, producing a strong M7-class solar flare. 

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

An S1-class radiation storm is underway in the aftermath of the flare. However, this is a relatively minor storm which poses minimal threat to satellites and aircraft.

Of greater interest is a CME that emerged from the blast site. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the storm cloud racing away from the sun at aproximately 800 km/s:

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This CME could deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field on April 20-21. Two or three minor CMEs traveling ahead of this one are expected to arrive on April 19-20, and the combined impacts could generate geomagnetic activity throughout the weekend. NOAA forecasters put the odds of a geomagnetic storm at 55% on Saturday, increasing to 75% on Sunday. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Solar flare alerts: textvoice

http://spaceweather.com/

Stunning Nasa footage reveals ‘graceful’ solar flare as it erupts on the star’s surface; M-class flare erupted on April 2 peaking at 2:05pm GMT (10:05am EDT)

Posted in 2014 with tags , , on April 7, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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M-class flare erupted on April 2 peaking at 2:05pm GMT (10:05am EDT)

HOW DO SOLAR FLARES FORM?

 A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released.

Radiation is emitted across virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves at the long wavelength end, through optical emission to X-rays and gamma rays at the short wavelength end.

The amount of energy released is the equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time

A flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released – mostly in the active regions around sunspots.

Their frequency varies from several a day, when the sun is particularly active, to less than one a week during quiet periods.

 

Returning sunspot AR1967 unleashed a powerful X4.9-class solar flare on Feb. 25th at 00:49 UTC. This is the most intense flare of 2014 so far, and one of the most intense of the current solar cycle.

Posted in 2014 with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2014 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

Although this flare is impressive, its effects are mitigated by the location of the blast site–near the sun’s southeastern limb, and not facing Earth. Indeed, a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) which raced away from the sun shortly after the flare appears set to miss our planet

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Radio emissions from shock waves at the leading edge of the CME suggest an expansion velocity near 2000 km/s or 4.4 million mph. If such a fast-moving cloud did strike Earth, the resulting geomagnetic storms could be severe. However, because its trajectory is so far off the sun-Earth line, the CME will deliver a glancing blow, at best, and probably no blow at all.

The source of the eruption is long-lived sunspot AR1967, now beginning its third trip across the Earthside of the sun. This region was an active producer of flares during its previous transits, and it looks like the third time will be little different. By tradition, sunspots are renumbered each time they return, so AR1967 will soon have a new designation. (Update: The new name of this sunspot is AR1990.) Solar flare alerts: textvoice

http://spaceweather.com/

BIG SUNSPOT TURNS TOWARD EARTH: One of the biggest sunspots of the current solar cycle emerged over the sun’s eastern limb

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

http://www.spaceweather.com/images2013/05nov13/ar1890_anim.gif?PHPSESSID=3c1rcsba9n5ecgj7pd8rcbore1

BIG SUNSPOT TURNS TOWARD EARTH: One of the biggest sunspots of the current solar cycle emerged over the sun’s eastern limb three days ago and now it is turning toward Earth. This movie from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the approach of sunspot AR1890:

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AR1890 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for strong explosions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of M-class solar flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on Nov. 5th. Solar flare alerts: textvoice.

http://www.spaceweather.com/

The sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the last week

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

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By Deborah Netburn

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-solar-flare-20131031,0,7996603.story#axzz2jQIxEdCC

October 31, 2013, 4:04 p.m.
The sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the last week, sending radiation and solar material hurtling through space – and scientists say more eruptions may be coming.

This shouldn’t be unusual. After all, we are technically at solar maximum, the peak of the 11-year cycle of the sun’s activity. But this has been a noticeably mellow solar maximum, with the sun staying fairly quiet throughout the summer. So when our life-giving star suddenly let loose with 24 medium strength M-class solar flares and four significantly stronger X-class flares between Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, it felt like a surprise.

Many of the flares originated from sunspot AR1884, a particularly active region of the sun that is currently facing Earth, almost at the center of the star. If this region stays active, it will continue to hurl radiation and solar material our way for about another week until it rotates out of sight.

A sunspot is an area of the sun where the magnetic fields have gotten all twisted up. “You get a tangled bunch of magnetic fields, and they get too tangled and too stressed, they end up erupting,” said Holly Gilbert, a solar physicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The good news is that none of the rapid-fire solar flares of the last week have had much effect on life on Earth. Our atmosphere protects us from the sun’s occasional powerful bursts of light and radiation, but solar flares do occasionally interact with our communications systems. The radiation can mess with an upper layer in our atmosphere called the ionosphere and cause radio signals to act funky.

Gilbert said the solar physicists at Goddard were glad to see more activity from the sun after such a quiet summer.

“It hadn’t been active in months, so it’s like it finally woke up,” she said. “For those of us who study the dynamics of the sun, it is exciting because it gives us more events to study.”

And for the rest of us it gives us the opportunity to watch cool videos, like the one above, of the sun erupting.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-solar-flare-20131031,0,7996603.story#axzz2jQIxEdCC

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NASA | Five Days of Flares and CMEs

This movie shows 23 of the 26 M- and X-class flares on the sun between 1800 UT Oct. 23 and 1500 UT Oct. 28, 2013, as captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. It also shows the coronal mass ejections — great clouds of solar material bursting off the sun into space — during that time as captured by the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Music: “Stella Nova” by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of the artist and Ultimae records. http://www.lars-leonhard.de / http://www.ultimae.com

Massive Solar Flare, Skylab Telescope (NASA Ar...

Massive Solar Flare, Skylab Telescope (NASA Archive, 12/3/73) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

SUNSPOTS MOST LIKELY TO FLARE: 3 of them pose a threat for strong eruptions

Posted in 2013 with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by MARIE EMMANUELLE QUILICHINI

The sun is dotted with spots, and three of them pose a threat for strong eruptions. Today’s sunspots most-likely-to-flare are circled in this Oct. 29th image of the sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:

AR1875, AR1882 and AR1875 have ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic fields that harbor energy for X-class solar flares. One of these spots in particular, AR1882, is almost directly facing Earth, so any eruptions it unleashes would almost surely be geoeffective. NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% chance of M-class flares and a 35% chance of X-flares on Oct. 29th. Solar flare alerts: textvoice.

 

http://spaceweather.com/

Massive Solar Flare, Skylab Telescope (NASA Ar...

Massive Solar Flare, Skylab Telescope (NASA Archive, 12/3/73) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

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