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: New Horizons sees more detail as it draws closer to Pluto

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

How comets were assembled

1 hour ago

Rosetta's target "Chury" and other comets observed by space missions show common evidence of layered structures and bi-lobed shapes. With 3D computer simulations Martin Jutzi of PlanetS at the University ...

Dawn spirals closer to Ceres, returns a new view

13 hours ago

A new view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 23, shows finer detail is becoming visible on the dwarf planet. The spacecraft snapped the image at a distance of 3,200 miles (5,100 kilometers) ...

Ariane 5's second launch of 2015

May 28, 2015

An Ariane 5 lifted off last night from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

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.