X3.1 solar flare from sunspot region 2192

Friday, 24 October 2014 - 22:00 UTC

X3.1 solar flare from sunspot region 2192

Sunspot region 2192 (now the largest sunspot region in 24 years) produced a major X3.19 solar flare (R3-strong radio blackout) at 21:41 UTC. This was the third and also the strongest X-class solar flare from this sunspot region and the sixth strongest solar flare of the current solar cycle.

Big Bear Solar Observatory GONG H-alpha

SDO/AIA 94 Ångström

SDO/AIA 131 Ångström

SDO/AIA 193 Ångström

SDO/AIA 304 Ångström


SDO/AIA 1600 Ångström and SDO/HMI overlay


Coronagraph imagery is not yet available to confirm the launch of a coronal mass ejection but the lack of any significant coronal dimming (traces in the solar corona of ejected material) suggests there might not be a major coronal mass ejection associated with this event despite the long duration of the solar flare. This solar flare looks pretty similar to the previous X-class solar flares that also failed to launch a coronal mass ejection.

The magnetic loops holding this group together just do not want to break and release a coronal mass ejection it seems, just like all other previous solar flares (excluding today's M-class solar flare) also failed to produce coronal mass ejections. This is a shame as sunspot region 2192 is now in a great position for any eruptions to be earth-directed but we do need to wait for coronagraph imagery from SOHO to be 100% sure that there is again no or only a minor coronal mass ejection. This post will be updated as soon as more information becomes available so keep checking back.

Be sure to also check out our other update that we posted today. 

NOAA SWPC alerts

ALERT: X-Ray Flux exceeded M5
Threshold Reached: 2014 Oct 24 2113 UTC
NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate
SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2014 Oct 24 2107 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Oct 24 2141 UTC
End Time: 2014 Oct 24 2213 UTC
X-ray Class: X3.1
Optical Class: 3b
Location: S12W22
NOAA Scale: R3 - Strong

No coronal mass ejection confirmation (ADDED: 23:00 UTC)

Here is the latest coronagraph image from SOHO/LASCO C2 showing... nothing.

As expected, the X3.1 solar flare is not eruptive and no coronal mass ejection was launched. Sad news for aurora lovers around the world but it is how it is!


Current data suggest that it is not possible to see aurora now at middle latitudes
Active geomagnetic conditions expected
The solar wind speed is currently high (711.8 km/sec.)

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Middle latitude 30% 15%
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X-class solar flare 1%
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