X1.1 solar flare with earth-directed CME

Saturday, 23 March 2024 13:36 UTC

X1.1 solar flare with earth-directed CME

A complex eruption took place today which peaked at 01:33 UTC. The associated solar flare reached a peak of X1.1 (R3-strong) and came from sunspot region 3614. An unremarkable sunspot region north of sunspot region 3615. We say that the eruption is complicated because sunspot region 3615 flared at the same time but everything points to the solar flare and resulting eruption from sunspot region 3614 being stronger. 

An impressive asymmetrical full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) was launched during the event. It is highly likely that the resulting coronal mass ejection will arrive at Earth despite the bulk of the CME heading more northwards. An impact is expected somewhere during the second half of Monday, 25 March. A clear CME impact signature is likely once the cloud arrives at the DSCOVR and ACE satellites. Geomagnetic storming up to the moderate G2 level, perhaps even the strong G3 level, can be expected which would equal a Kp-value of seven. This would be strong enough for aurora to be visible from places like England, Belgium, northern Germany, southern New Zealand and states in the United States like Utah and Colorado.

We also briefly reached the moderate S2 solar radiation storm threshold around 12 UTC. This creates issues with HF radio propagation at arctic latitudes and some satellites might experience infrequent single-event upsets.

Sunspot region 3615 remains a very complex sunspot region and more X-class activity is not impossible. It is crackling with non-eruptive M-class solar flares at the moment! Watch this sunspot region!

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