Sunday, 8 March 2015

M9.2 solar flare from sunspot region 2297

Dr. Tamitha Skov ‏@TamithaSkov Stunning video of near X-flare & solarstorm launch today from region 2297. Maybe slight FX at Earth late March 10

Eruption from M9.2 flare may be partly Earth-directed. Small effects on us possible ~Mar 10.

This M-class solarflare is really long lived and still going strong... 

Sunspot region 2297 is active again after a relative calm past 36 hours. It produced the strongest solar flare thus far in 2015: a near X-class event that peaked at M9.2 (R2-moderate) around 22:22 UTC. This was a long duration event which means it likely produced a coronal mass ejection. When looking at difference imagery from SDO we can conclude that a massive coronal mass ejection was launched, something the latest LASCO coronagraph imagery confirms.

 Image: Difference imagery from NASA SDO showing coronal dimming, a sign that a coronal mass ejection was launched.

Image: Latest SOHO/LASCO C2 image showing a bright coronal mass ejection leaving the blast site.

A solar radiation storm is not expected as this sunspot region is not located in a prime position to cause such an event and this coronal mass ejection will also certainly not come directly towards Earth. We will have to wait for more coronagraph imagery before we can make a definitive conclusion regarding the exact trajectory of this CME. A glancing blow could be expected at most but it is also possible that the plasma cloud will miss Earth completly.

NOAA SWPC alerts

ALERT: X-Ray Flux exceeded M5
Threshold Reached: 2015 Mar 07 2203 UTC
NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate
ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2015 Mar 07 2157 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 704 km/s
ALERT: Type IV Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2015 Mar 07 2204 UTC
SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2015 Mar 07 2236 UTC
Maximum Time: 2015 Mar 07 2239 UTC
End Time: 2015 Mar 07 2246 UTC
Duration: 10 minutes
Peak Flux: 260 sfu
Latest Penticton Noon Flux: 138 sfu
SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded M5
Begin Time: 2015 Mar 07 2145 UTC
Maximum Time: 2015 Mar 07 2222 UTC
End Time: 2015 Mar 07 2258 UTC
X-ray Class: M9.2
Location: S19E60
NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate