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EARTH-DIRECTED SOLAR FLARE:
Feb. 13th at 1738 UT, sunspot 1158 unleashed the strongest solar flare of the year so far, an M6.6-category blast. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation
The eruption produced a loud blast of radio waves heard in shortwave receivers around the dayside of our planet. In New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded these sounds at 19 to 21 MHz. "This was some of the strongest radio bursting of the new solar cycle," he says. "What a great solar day."
Preliminary coronagraph data from STEREO-A and SOHO agree that the explosion produced a fast but not particularly bright coronal mass ejection (CME). The cloud will likely hit Earth's magnetic field on or about Feb. 15th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
The source of this activity, sunspot 1158 is growing rapidly (48 hour movie). The active region is now more than 100,000 km wide with at least a dozen Earth-sized dark cores scattered beneath its unstable magnetic canopy. More Earth-directed eruptions are likely in the hours ahead.
Examples of large solar flares
The most powerful flare of the last 500 years was the first flare to be observed, on September 1, 1859, and was reported by British astronomer Richard Carrington. The event is named the Solar storm of 1859, or the "Carrington event". The flare was visible to a naked-eye, and produced stunning auroras down to tropical latitudes such as Cuba or Hawaii, and set telegraph systems on fire. The flare left a trace in Greenland ice in the form of nitrates and beryllium-10, which allow its strength to be measured today (New Scientist, 2005).
In modern times, the largest solar flare measured with instruments occurred on November 4, 2003 (initially measured at X28 and later upgraded to X45). Other large solar flares also occurred on April 2, 2001 (X20), October 28, 2003 (X17) and September 7, 2005 (X17). In 1989, during former solar cycle 22 two large flares occurred in March, 6 (X15) and August, 16 (X20) causing disruptions in electric grids and computer systems. A complete list is available at www.spaceweather.com...
Originally posted by whatukno
reply to post by shikori
How is this a political issue? Really? How exactly did our government cause this solar flare? Are you blaming congress for solar activity? Perhaps the Supreme Court had something to do with it? Maybe it was an Executive Order?