M5.2 solar flare, Active geomagnetic conditions

Monday, 7 November 2022 16:35 UTC

M5.2 solar flare, Active geomagnetic conditions

Quite the surprise today! Sunspot region 3141 unexpectedly produced an M5.2 solar flare (R2-moderate radio blackout) that peaked at 00:11 UTC. The solar flare was however impulsive which means it was very short in duration. The resulting coronal mass ejection is very minor and not aimed at Earth.

Sunspot region 3141 has a simple Beta magnetic layout. Sunspot regions with such a magnetic layout rarely produce solar flares of this magnitude making the surprise even bigger. It does seem very unlikely that this sunspot region is capable of producing solar flares of a similar magnitude in the future unless it develops a more complex magnetic layout.

Active geomagnetic conditions

We are also currently in a period with active geomagnetic conditions which stands for a Kp of 4. This is caused by the passage of what is likely a small undetected coronal mass ejection. The north-south component (Bz) of the magnetic field is pointing southward fueling auroral activity. The solar wind speed remains low at around 400km/s. We might see minor G1 geomagnetic storm conditions in the near future (Kp5) but stronger (G2 or higher) storm conditions are unlikely.

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