Major X1.39 solar flare

Thursday, 7 September 2017 - 17:35 UTC

Major X1.39 solar flare

Solar activity is once again at high levels. Sunspot region 2673 continues to be very active as it rotates towards the west limb. Today (thus far!) it managed to produce a couple of M-class solar flares and an X-class solar flare.

The first M-class solar flare was an M2.4 (R1-minor) solar flare that peaked at 05:02 UTC. About four hours later sunspot region 2673 treated us with an impulsive M1.4 (R1-minor) solar flare which peaked at 09:54 UTC and this event was quickly followed by an impulsive M7.3 (R2-moderate) solar flare which peaked at 10:15 UTC. Icing on the cake was sunspot region 2673's third X-class (R3-strong) solar flare. An X1.39 solar flare erupted which peaked at 14:36 UTC.

The M2.4 and M1.4 solar flares weren't eruptive. The M7.3 solar flare produced nothing more than a little puff: a very minor coronal mass ejection that is heading well west of Earth. The X1.3 solar flare produced a very similar, minor coronal mass ejection that is heading well west of us and will not impact our planet.

Animation: SOHO LASCO C2 difference footage showing the weak M7.3 and X1.3 coronal mass ejections.

Nothing too exciting unfortunately but sunspot region 2673 keeps it's complex Beta-Gamma-Delta layout. More M-class activity remains likely and a fourth X-class solar flare can't be ruled out either! 

Note that we are still expecting the X9 coronal mass ejection to arrive at our planet tomorrow. For more details about that event check out this news item.

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Current data suggest that it is not possible to see aurora now at middle latitudes

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M-class solar flare 1%
X-class solar flare 1%
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