Wednesday 23 October 2013

The Sol Tango: incoming CMEs and disorientating radio burst.

Our lovely Sol has been dancing a tango again for the past two weeks, and in the last two days has upped the tempo.  I've been watching the Solar activity for the past couple of weeks quite closely, and it's definitely been putting on quite the show!  I will say that I almost sprained my shoulder trying to pat myself on the back a little over a week ago when I was correct in my insistence that sun spot 1865 was going to blow a couple of M Class flares within the next 24 hours (even though the so called "experts" at NOAA disagreed) and exactly as I called it, we had three MClass flares following that, all with a 72 hour period.

Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I'll be here all week.

(sorry, I might be a bit over caffeinated this morning, lol)

So on to this weeks Solar extravaganza.  While sun spot 1865 has disappeared to the back side of the sun (and degraded into a much less volatile spot), we have Sun spot 1875 that is geoeffective- meaning that it is now directly Earth Facing, with a Beta Gamma Delta configuration... which basically means that it is highly excitable and has a bad attitude (kinda like my 6 year old this morning, but that's another story).  In the past 4 days it's been tossing off several C and M class flares, but in the last 24 hours it has thrown off 3 M Class flares, M 1.0, M 1.0 and M 4.2.  The  M 4.2 definitely sent a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) our way.

Adding to the excitement is that a filament ripped off directly above spot 1875 yesterday which sent the strongest radio burst this solar cycle  (apparently it almost tossed one solar listener right out of his chair) and another CME that is also earth facing, though slightly northern glancing.

Starting at the end of today, the geomagnetic field of Earth will start to get somewhat unsettled and over the course of the next 2 days we could see solar induced geomagnetic storms on the planet.  Nothing to "worry about", but if your wireless printer doesn't want to work, or your GPS sends you too Timbuktu, and your cel phone starts dropping calls randomly.... well, it's not their fault.  This time.

I strongly suspect that we'll see at least one or two more M Class flares from spot 1875, with a good chance of a low X Class flare in the next 48 hours.   We also have spot 1877 rotating into view and while it's not as complex and grumpy as 1875, it's definitely worth watching as well.

... If I'm right, I'll let someone else pat me on the back this time, lol.


SOLAR TSUNAMI AND RADIO BURST: Sunspot AR1875 erupted on Oct. 23rd (), producing an impulsive M4-class solar flare and a loud burst of shortwave radio static. Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico was listening at the time of the eruption. "I knew this flare was a strong one by the force of the radio shock front," he says. "It nearly lifted me out of my chair!" Click on the image to hear what emerged from the loudspeaker of his radio telescope:
Advice: Listen to the sound file using stereo headphones. The two channels correspond to two radio frequencies--21 and 28 MHz.  -

*my note: when I listened to this, I felt a few moments of complete disorientation....if using headphones, watch your volume!!

Two M Class flares and the filament ripping off.

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