X1.6 solar flare from sunspot region 2205

Friday, 7 November 2014 - 17:59 UTC

X1.6 solar flare from sunspot region 2205

Sunspot region 2205 has just produced an X1.6 (R3-strong) solar flare that peaked at 17:26 UTC. It already produced numerous M-class solar flares the past few days and now we saw it's first X-class solar flare! SDO imagery suggests this solar flare is eruptive and that it likely launched a coronal mass ejection (CME) despite it being a relatively impulsive solar flare. Type II and IV radio sweeps were reported which also indicate the launch of a CME.

X1.6 solar flare as seen by SDO/AIA 193 Ångström

X1.6 solar flare as seen by SDO/AIA 304 Ångström

 

X1.6 solar flare as seen by SDO/AIA 1600 Ångström

 

It is still too early for coronagraph imagery from SOHO/LASCO to see if there was a coronal mass ejection launched by this solar flare and if it is earth-directed but SDO does give us a clue on the characteristics of this eruption. We can already see some coronal dimming and a large-scale coronal propagating front (LCPF) which are always good signs that a coronal mass ejection was launched. However, we still need to wait for SOHO imagery to be 100% sure.

We could also see an increase in the high energy protons in the coming hours possibly up to the S1 minor solar radiation storm level which would hamper HF radio communication at arctic latitudes.

Due to some unforeseen problems there were no radio blackout tweets on our Twitter channel. Our apologies.

NOAA SWPC alerts

ALERT: X-Ray Flux exceeded M5
Threshold Reached: 2014 Nov 07 1715 UTC
NOAA Scale: R2 - Moderate
SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2014 Nov 07 1653 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Nov 07 1726 UTC
End Time: 2014 Nov 07 1734 UTC
X-ray Class: X1.6
Location: N15E38
NOAA Scale: R3 - Strong
ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Nov 07 1719 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 602 km/s
ALERT: Type IV Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Nov 07 1735 UTC
SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst
Begin Time: 2014 Nov 07 1749 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Nov 07 1751 UTC
End Time: 2014 Nov 07 1800 UTC
Duration: 11 minutes
Peak Flux: 560 sfu
Latest Penticton Noon Flux: 136 sfu

Also be sure to check our other update from today where we took a look at the magnetic layout of sunspot region 2205.

First LASCO frames (ADDED 20:58 UTC)

A couple of LASCO frames are now available showing that there is indeed a coronal mass ejection associated with the X1.6 solar flare of 17:26 UTC. The coronal mass ejection looks to be heading mostly east and north from Earth but we need more frames to determine if there might be a weaker earth-directed component. We will come back with more information when possible.

Coronal mass ejection analysis (ADDED 8 NOVEMBER 2014 - 11:00 UTC)

SOHO/LASCO coronagraph imagery are now complete and show that the coronal mass ejection from the X1.6 solar flare that occurred yesterday does not have a clear earth-directed component. The bulk of the CME is heading well east of Earth. There has also not been any kind of increase on the ACE EPAM monitor which you would expect after an earth-directed eruption. However, the coronal mass ejection was fairly wide covering well over 180 degrees on LASCO with a speed of about 650km/s. The width of this coronal mass ejection could indicate that we can not exclude a shock passage late on November 10. If we do see a shock passage it would be only a minor event at most and a geomagnetic storm is not to be expected.

Images: NASA SDO, ESA/NASA SOHO and SIDC.

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