The sun is currently undergoing “solar maximum” — a period of peak activity in its 11 year solar cycle. So far, solar max has been mediocre at best, but as this explosive trio has just shown us, don’t count the sun out quite yet — we could be in for a period of rather inclement space weather courtesy of AR 1748.
Stay tuned! Space weather…!!!
The sun is super active! Seems like the earth is too! Lots of activity! Check out these sunspots growing ever so larger.
This channel is especially good at showing areas where cooler dense plumes of plasma (filaments and prominences) are located above the visible surface of the Sun. Many of these features either can’t be seen or appear as dark lines in the other channels. The bright areas show places where the plasma has a high density.
New sunspot AR1598 has erupted again. On Oct. 23rd at 0322 UT, Earth orbiting satellites detected a strong X1-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash: movie.
Radiation from the flare created waves of ionization in the upper atmosphere over Asia and Australia (the daylit side of Earth) and possibly HF radio blackouts at high latitudes. The blast did not, however, produce a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). No auroras are expected to result from this event.
This is the 4th significant flare from AR1598 since it emerged over the southeastern limb only three days ago. This means more flares are probably in the offing, and they will become increasingly Earth-directed as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead. Stay tuned for updates.