Today 5 years ago: X5.4 solar flare

Tuesday, 7 March 2017 - 13:15 UTC

Today 5 years ago: X5.4 solar flare

Blast from the past! Do you remember these solar flares? It is today exactly five years ago that sunspot region 11429 erupted with a X5.4 solar flare. This spectacular blast was closely followed by an X1.3 solar flare from nearby sunspot region 11430.

The X5.4 solar flare is thus far the second strongest solar flare that occurred during the current 24th solar cycle. With solar cycle 24 slowly trending towards solar minimum it could very well remain the second strongest solar flare or do you have hopes that we will see a stronger solar flare than this before the next solar cycle starts?

These solar flares were associated with a massive asymmetrical full halo coronal mass ejection that was launched towards our planet. Two days later (2012/03/09) when the coronal mass ejection arrived at our planet, it caused a geomagnetic storm of the severe G4 geomagnetic storm category (Kp8) which is thus far the second strongest geomagnetic storm of this solar cycle. Do you remember seeing aurora on that date? Be sure to mention it in the comments!

Enjoy the video!

Current data suggest that it is not possible to see aurora now at middle latitudes
G1 - Minor geomagnetic storm
Observed Kp: 5-
The solar wind speed is currently moderately high (696.5 km/sec.)

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Today's space weather

Auroral activity Minor Severe
High latitude 30% 45%
Middle latitude 10% 1%
Predicted Kp max 4
Solar activity
M-class solar flare 10%
X-class solar flare 1%
C3.5 C3.1
Moon phase
Waning Crescent

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Last X-flare:2015/05/05X2.7
Last M-flare:2017/07/14M2.4
Last geomagnetic storm:2017/08/18Kp5 (G1)
Number of spotless days in 2017:56
Last spotless day:2017/08/01

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*since 1994