Sunspot 1121 unleashes X-ray flare

Nov 11, 2010 by Holly Zell / Dr. Tony Phillips
Active Region 1121 unleashes x-ray flare. Credit: NASA/SDO/AIA

Active sunspot 1121 has unleashed one of the brightest x-ray solar flares in years, an M5.4-class eruption at 15:36 UT on Nov. 6th.

Radiation from the flare created a wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere that altered the propagation of low-frequency radio waves.

There was, however, no bright CME (plasma cloud) hurled in our direction, so the event is unlikely to produce auroras in the nights ahead.

This is the third M-flare in as many days from this increasingly active . So far none of the eruptions has been squarely Earth-directed, but this could change in the days ahead as the sun's rotation turns the active region toward our planet.

Explore further: NASA spacecraft almost to Pluto: Smile for the camera!

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A Massive Explosion on the Sun

Apr 25, 2007

Astronomers are calling the Japanese Hinode spacecraft a "Hubble for the sun." Watch this movie and you'll see why. ...

Solar Fireworks Signal New Space Weather Mystery

May 24, 2005

The most intense burst of solar radiation in five decades accompanied a large solar flare on January 20. It shook space weather theory and highlighted the need for new forecasting techniques, according to several presentations ...

Recommended for you

Elon Musk's SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

9 hours ago

A spacecraft company run by billionaire Elon Musk has dropped a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Air Force improperly awarded a contract to launch military satellites to a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed ...

NASA spacecraft almost to Pluto: Smile for the camera!

Jan 23, 2015

It's showtime for Pluto. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 3 billion miles and is nearing the end of its nine-year journey to Pluto. Sunday, it begins photographing the mysterious, unexplored, icy ...

Gullies on Vesta suggest past water-mobilized flows

Jan 23, 2015

(Phys.org)—Protoplanet Vesta, visited by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2013, was once thought to be completely dry, incapable of retaining water because of the low temperatures and pressures at its ...

SOHO and Hinode offer new insight into solar eruptions

Jan 23, 2015

The sun is home to the largest explosions in the solar system. For example, it regularly produces huge eruptions known as coronal mass ejections – when billions of tons of solar material erupt off the sun, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BendySpace
not rated yet Nov 11, 2010
Does this mean we're all...Doomed? Y'hear...DOOMED!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.