Saturday, 26 January 2019 - 18:59 UTC
A sign of life from our star! Sunspot region 2733 erupted with a C5.0 solar flare today at 13:22 UTC. While not the kind of solar fireworks like M or X-class solar flares, this is a fairly decent solar flare during solar minimum. In fact, this is the strongest solar flare since a C4 class solar flare that took place on 30/03/2018.
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Sunspot region 2733 is now rotating towards the west limb but it does posses a Beta-Gamma magnetic configuration which means more C-class solar flares can not be excluded. M-class solar flares do seem unlikely at the moment unless it develops further. Today's C5 class solar flare was not eruptive: a coronal mass ejection was not launched.
For those wondering. This is not directly a sign we are climbing out of solar minimum and sunspot region 2733 clearly belongs to solar cycle 24. Sunspot regions and solar flares are rare during solar minimum but its nice to see some action for a change. You can recognize sunspot regions that belong to solar cycle 25 by them being located at high latitudes and having an opposite magnetic layout compared to solar cycle 24 sunspot regions. If you can tick these two boxes you can be pretty sure you are looking at a solar cycle 25 sunspot region. Sunspot region 2733 does not tick these boxes.
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