Tuesday 25 February 2014

The Solar Cabaret Show: High kicking Fun for all!

The Cabaret Show began last night at 00:43am UST (interesting timing I might add ;>)  )  when our old friend, sunspot 1944/67 now renumbered 1990, blasted off an X Class 4.9 Solar Flare just as it began to rotate over the eastern limb into Earth Facing view- Kinda like the class clown lobbing a mega flash bang into the science lab on the first day back at school, just to say "HI!  Remember me?!?"

The XClass 4.9 flare shook up lots of stuff, but so far it would seem that most of the energy will only hit Earth a slightly glancing blow.  Having said that, there was definite radio black out interference- supposedly on the "sunlit side of earth" at the time, yet the One People radio show last night had significant interference last night for the first hour of the show.  Go figure.

I would also like to note here that it is incredibly rare for a sun spot to exist as long as spot 1944/67/90 has- 3 rotations into Earth view is almost unheard of.  Many smaller spots can "die" within hours of forming, but average sized spots usually last no more than 2-3 weeks.

Well my friends, I think that once again we'll be getting treated to a bright and energetic stage show... the only question left is:  Will 1990 continue it's famous play dead act once it is geoeffectively Earth facing, or will three times be the charm?

From SolarHam:

Major X4.9 Solar Flare
A major solar flare measuring X4.9 was just observed around returning sunspot 1967 (newly numbered 1990) at 00:49 UTC. Despite appearing to be in an advanced state of decay, the active region remains magnetically potent. This just proves that you cannot judge a book by its cover. A 10cm radio bust measuring 3700 sfu and lasting 85 minutes was associated with the event. The sunspot is not yet in a good geoeffective position for Earth directed eruptions. The flare is the 3rd largest X-Ray event of the current solar cycle....

CME Update: Attached image below by LASCO C2 captures a halo coronal mass ejection (CME) leaving the sun at a quick rate of speed following the X4.9 flare event Monday night. Click HERE for a movie. Because the source sunspot (1990, ex 1967) is still located near the east limb, the plasma cloud is directed mostly away from Earth. Despite this, there does appear to be an Earth directed component which could deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field by mid week.

Strong R3 Radio Blackout level was measured. R3 level can cause wide area blackout of HF radio communication, loss of radio contact for about an hour on sunlit side of Earth and low-frequency navigation signals degraded for about an hour.
Coronal Mass Ejection was generated but this region is not in geoeffective position at the time and the plasma cloud is directed mostly to the east.

Side notes:  we also have a nice size coronal hole now directly facing Earth.


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