M1.1 solar flare

Tuesday, 20 April 2021 18:26 UTC

M1.1 solar flare

Surprise surprise! Sunspot region 2816 produced an M1.1 solar flare which peaked at 23:42 UTC. This is the first M-class solar flare since 29 November and the third M-class solar flare of Solar Cycle 25 thus far. Our Sun decided to wake up as we now all of a sudden have three numbered sunspot regions on the earth-facing solar disk.

Associated with the M1.1 solar flare (R1-minor) were Type II and Type IV radio emissions which indicates the launch of a coronal mass ejection. SOHO/LASCO (see the tweet below) confirms the launch of a slow and narrow plasma cloud which shows up as a partial halo going to the east on these images as seen from Earth's point of view. While sunspot region 2816 was just east of the Sun's central meridian, based on the images from SOHO we do think it is unlikely that the plasma cloud will arrive at Earth.

While it was sunspot region 2816 that gave us the M-class solar flare, it is sunspot region 2817 that seen the most significant growth during the past few hours and it is this region that is the most likely candidate to produce C or perhaps even a low-level M-class solar flares in the next 24 hours. Sunspot region 2817 has also been the source today of numerous B-class solar flares. Good to see some Solar Cycle 25 action after this long period with hardly any solar activity at all!

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