Sorry about the title...needs to fit in and be seen!
After about a year or so of false starts, the sun seems to be finally waking up and becoming quite active again and I think we're in for a bumpy
ride...not from the sun but from ATS!
Last solar maximum, ATS was in it's infancy so the sun never got much attention, fast forward to today and we'll get 2-3 threads posted up whenever
a tiny little flare pops up.
People better get used to seeing geomagnetic storms heading our way because the next few years it's going to be a constant thing and frankly we
don't need thousands of threads reporting on B and C class solar flares.
So, the purpose of this thread is to share proper information so that everyone hopefully understands what the sun is up to, so we don't get threads
like Breaking News the Sun expelled a Monster Fireball 400 times bigger than
Coz in all reality the 'monster fireball' was barely a C class flare.
C class flares are rated very low and pose no threat to earth.
M and X class flares are where things get more interesting, we've had two X class flares so far this year and expect a few more in the coming
These two classes are the ones worth keeping an eye on to see what happens.
To illustrate I'll post up two graphs from the GOES X-ray satellite, this measures the X ray flux output from the sun.
It's very easy to understand and is a very good source of up to date information.
Here is the first graph, showing real time information from the satellite, it updates every 5 minutes.
Date and time is across the bottom (UTC) and the flare rating is on the right hand side (A B C M X).
The line to look at is the red line and as you can see, there have been four C class flares over the last few days.
You will also notice that there has also been a constant stream of solar wind in the B class range too.
This is all pretty normal, in fact it's reasonably quiet, which brings me to the second graph, to illustrate what things will look like when the sun
really wakes up:
This is from July 2000:
The first thing you'll notice is the two X class flares and M class flares. The X6 flare triggered geomagnetic storms called the
Bastille Day Event
The next thing to notice is the stream of solar wind between the flares, it's bobbing in and around the C and M class categories.
Quite a significant difference to what we're seeing right now, but remember, it will be like this soon, so there's no need for the chicken little
threads, because we've been through it all before.
I've sourced these graphs through Spaceweather.com
, which is a good source of information, although a bit
slow to report on significant solar activity, they still link to real time data, which can be found down the left hand side, the above graphs are
found directly above the daily sun image, and looks typically like this:
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3 1057 UT Apr08
24-hr: B4 0237 UT Apr08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1300 UT
Click on more data to bring up the graphs.