Last updated on May 15th, 2013
My Inbox has suddenly been filling with automated messaging from the Australian Space Forecast Centre of solar flare reports, a phenomenon that had quieted down of late during this current solar cycle.
But quiet no more… We have just witnessed the strongest solar flare of the year.
An X-class flare [update: X-flares – plural…] and the flare region will be rotating towards Earth during the week ahead. For those who have forgotten, or simply don’t know… an extreme X-class solar flare has the potential to end civilization as we know it…
in the blink of an eye…
IPS FLARE ALERT
Current X-ray Flux : 1.35e-04 (X1.4)
Maximum X-ray Flux of 1.75e-04 (X1.8)
A sunspot hiding behind the sun’s northeastern limb erupted on May 13th at 02:17 UT, producing the strongest solar flare of the year so far. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme UV flash from the X1.7-class eruption.
The sunspot that produced this blast is on the farside of the sun. Soon, in a few days, it will turn toward Earth, emerging into view over the sun’s eastern limb.
We literally do not know when the next Solar SuperStorm will erupt. We do know for certain that it will happen again, as it did in 1859, and when it does… our lives will be changed forever… in the blink of an eye.
SOLAR ACTIVITY SURGES: A sunspot on the sun’s eastern limb is crackling with powerful X-class solar flares. Just-numbered “AR1748”, announced itself during the early hours of May 13th with an X1.7-class eruption (0217 UT), quickly followed by an X2.8-class flare (1609 UT), a X3.2-class flare (0117 UT on May 14), and an X1-class flare (0152 on May 15).
These are the strongest flares of the year so far, and they signal a significant increase in solar activity. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours.