Today one year ago: X9.3 solar flare

Thursday, 6 September 2018 - 05:27 UTC

Today one year ago: X9.3 solar flare

It has been many months since we've last seen a strong solar flare or even a decent sunspot region. It is no secret that we are well on our way to solar minimum. However, today exactly one year ago, our Sun looked very different compared to how it looks today. Multiple sunspot regions were visible but by far the most interesting sunspot region was sunspot region 2673. Sunspot region 2673 was on 6 September 2017 one of the most complex sunspot regions that we have seen this solar cycle and it erupted that day with an X9.3 (R3-strong) solar flare which will likely remain the strongest solar flare of the current solar cycle, solar cycle 24.

A quick recap:

On 28 August 2017, Active Region 2673 rotated onto the earth-facing solar disk. At the time it was a simple Alpha region with only one sunspot. On 2 September 2017 it started to grow very rapidly and within 48 hours it became one of the most complex sunspot regions of Solar Cycle 24. Sunspot region 2673 was responsible for 27 M-class solar flares, 4 X-class solar flares and a severe G4 geomagnetic storm. It produced the two strongest solar flares of Solar Cycle 24: X8.2 and X9.3.

Last year we made a video about sunspot region 2673 and the impressive solar flares that it produced. We invite you to watch the video and take a trip down memory lane with us. Enjoy!

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Space weather facts

Last X-flare:2017/09/10X8.2
Last M-flare:2017/10/20M1.0
Last geomagnetic storm:2020/02/19Kp5 (G1)
Number of spotless days in 2020:70
Current stretch spotless days:20

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