Sun Has Been Very Busy
October 24, 2013; 8:46 AM
Many people have been commenting on how quiet the sun has been recently. Well that has certainly changes in a big way and very quickly!
Image of the Sun showing the sunspots that have caused all these flares
In the last 12 hours, the Sun has experienced five solar flares. Yesterday afternoon and evening, the Sun had a very rare event, back-to-back-to-back solar flares in a matter of hours. The last solar flare was the strongest of all five solar flares, a M9.3 flare (all five solar flares were M-class flares).
Image of one of the flares. The Sun is the light, bigger circle; the flare is the bright circular area in the middle.
If yesterday's event was not rare enough, this morning EDT had two more back-to-back flares. Very impressive!
So what does this mean to us on Earth? Well, in terms of our day-to-day life, not much. There were no disruptions to communications, WiFi or cell service because, those these flares were strong, you need a stronger flare to cause problems.
However, we will likely see an uptick in northern light activity Friday night and this weekend. Why is that? Well, one of our dedicated AccuWeather Astronomy experts Daniel Vogler has found evidence that a CME (coronal mass ejection) occurred and that it may be Earth directed. We will have more information on this event on AccuWeather Astronomy as we get some more data. Hopefully we can get a Kp of around 7!
Click here for Daniel's animated GIF images of the suspected CME.
Map of where the northern lights may be seen according to Kp levels
You can leave your comments, as well as be part of a community where discussions on any astronomy subject, when you join AccuWeather's Astronomy Facebook Fanpage by clicking here. We are now approaching 34,000 likes on Facebook. Also find and follow us at @AccuAstronomy on twitter. Tell your friends about this site and blog and have them weigh in on some exciting issues. We encourage open discussion and will never criticize any idea, and no negative conversation will be allowed.
The experts on both Facebook and Twitter will keep you up to date on any astronomy-related subject. Please feel free to share your opinions.
And please keep the astronomy pictures coming. They have been simply amazing. Ask questions, share comments, share anything.