Sunspot 1121 unleashes X-ray flare

November 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: Image: C3-class solar flare erupts on Sept. 8, 2010

Related Stories

A Massive Explosion on the Sun

April 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 ...

Proba-2 shows solar eruption that touched Earth (w/ Video)

April 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Polar skies glowed with ghostly auroras last week during the biggest geomagnetic storm of 2010. The event owed its origin to a solar eruption a few days earlier -- revealed here in high-speed detail by ESA?s ...

Recommended for you

Stars born in winds from supermassive black holes

March 27, 2017

Observations using ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed stars forming within powerful outflows of material blasted out from supermassive black holes at the cores of galaxies. These are the first confirmed observations ...

Planetary waves, first found on Earth, are discovered on Sun

March 27, 2017

The same kind of large-scale planetary waves that meander through the atmosphere high above Earth's surface may also exist on the Sun, according to a new study led by a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research ...

1 comment

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.