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Significant solar activity

Extreme flare - which oversaturated many sensors - from very active region incurs potential of aurora, interruption of Katrina recovery operations, and various technical and biological hazards.



One of the largest solar flares on record occurred today, September 07. Very active Region 808 produced a powerful X17 flare (R4 on the NOAA Scale) observed on the NOAA GOES satellite at 07/1740 UTC (September 07, 1:40 p.m. EDT). This flare, the 4th largest in the last 15 years, erupted just as the Region 808 sunspot cluster was rotating onto the visible disk of the sun. Intense radio emissions were also associated with this flare. A very bright and fast coronal mass ejection was observed on coronagraph imagery; however, the material was not Earth directed. An S1 - S2 radiation storm is expected following this eruption, but is not expected to begin until late on September 07 or early September 08.

This event created a complete blackout of high frequency communications on the daylit side of Earth. Communications used by emergency services along the Gulf Coast may have experienced problems due to this flare. Low frequency navigation systems may also have experienced a period of significant degradation.

Over the past two weeks, this active region produced a series of significant solar eruptions as it made its passage around the back side of the Sun. Significant eruptions are expected in the coming days. Agencies impacted by space weather storms may experience disruptions over the next two weeks. These include spacecraft operations, electric power systems, HF communications, and low-frequency navigations systems.


It is interesting that even though the CME isn't Earth bound, that some radiation is. We would have had one heck of an aurora if it was (Similar to Nov 2004's X-20+ I think).

For me there are two seasons... storm season, and northern lights season. Both can be equally frustrating. to capture.

Without any regard to communication disruption, I hope this thing takes another shot at Earth when it is better positioned.
Yet another flare about an hour ago. This was less intense, but still an X 5.4.

Hopefully we'll have some more activity during the next 2 weeks so we can see northern lights again.
i saw my first aurora last year in the heart of Chicago. it wasant as vivid as up north but it was fantastic, im going to go up to alaska and watch these things one of these days
Good news, especially with a sunspot of this size and intensity. I'll keep my eye on this one for sure as it comes into good alignment for earthbound CMEs :D.
Anyone interested in the aurora should be watching the skies the next few nights. Yesterday (9-13) the sun erupted three X class flares. R3 radio blackouts were reported and we are currently in a S2 radiation storm. Tonight or tomorrow the CME should hit the earth and trigger a severe to extreme geomagnetic storm. Spaceweather.com states that viewers as far south as Texas might be able to see the aurora.

My space WX sources:

Witnessed some weak aurora on September 11th. This photo was taken north of Perry Lake, KS. Darin and I went out early that morning and saw a nice flare. Not too bad for KS. This was my first time seeing this, and hopefully not the last.

Here is one that I took....adjusted a little for contrast so it's a bit noisy

I just got another bulletin that tonight should be a good night (9/15). I also checked the planetary K index (spaceweather.com) and it is climbing.

Why should I care :) down here at the 34th parallel? Well, wishful thinking but I do see shots taken in Flagstaff and Payson (Payson is one hour up the road from me).

This guy, Chris Schur, got a nice shot up there in Payson.


I would just be so happy to see one (never have).