X8.7 solar flare

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 19:42 UTC

X8.7 solar flare

What a way to sign off! Sunspot region 3664 (R3-strong) is now on the west limb and waves goodbye by producing the largest solar flare of Solar Cycle 25 which peaked at X8.7! Wow! There isn't any coronagraph imagery available from SOHO yet, but we do know the solar flare was eruptive but based on coronagraph imagery from STEREO A, the resulting coronal mass ejection is likely not aimed at Earth.

Sunspot region 3664 will now slowly disappear behind the west limb and transit the far side of the Sun and with that cement itself in the history books for being the source of the first Extreme G5 geomagnetic storm since 2003. If it survives the journey around the far side of the solar disk, it will appear on the east limb (as seen from Earth) in about two weeks from now.

While the X8.7 solar flare was declining in strength, there was yet another solar flare worth noting. An M4.4 solar flare (R1-minor) which peaked at 17:38 UTC. This solar flare came from newly assigned sunspot region 3682 and was actually high eruptive. Again we have no SOHO imagery but it also does not look to be aimed at Earth based on the low resolution STEREO imagery. Sunspot region 3682 looks to consist mostly of faculae but still, seems like we need to keep an eye on this region in the coming days.

STEREO Ahead COR2 coronagraph imagery showing one CME heading west (X8) and one east (M4) of Earth.
STEREO Ahead COR2 coronagraph imagery showing one CME heading west (X8) and one east (M4) of Earth.

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