Sun unleashes strong X-2 class solar flare and CME

January 27, 2012SPACEDeparting sunspot 1402 unleashed an X2-class solar flare today, Jan. 27th, at 18:37 UT. Sunspot 1402 is rotating onto the far side of the sun, so the blast site was not facing Earth. Nevertheless, energetic protons accelerated by the blast are now surrounding our planet, and an intensifying S1-class radiation storm is in progress. The explosion also produced a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME): SOHO movie. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the cloud raced away from the sun at 2500 km/s or 5.6 million mph. The CME is not heading toward Earth, although it is too soon to rule out some kind of glancing blow on Jan. 28-29. –Space Weather


contribution Luisport & Stephi – Solarham -Space Weather
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15 Responses to Sun unleashes strong X-2 class solar flare and CME

  1. luisport says:

    Update 20:57 UTC Jan 27 2012 :

    Sunspot Region 1402 unleashed an X flare that peaked at X1.7 at 18:33 UTC. There was a full halo CME seen in association with this X flare event. At this time, it would appear that Earth may see a glancing blow from this CME. We will update as more data comes in.

    The X Flare can easily be depicted on this image from SDO/EVE SAM. It can be seen originating from Sunspot Region 1402 which has now rotated off on to the far western limb of the solar disk.
    This X flare was earth directed. Anything showing up on the Xray flux is earth registered.
    If this X flare had occured 4-5 days ago while directly earth facing, it would have registered significantly higher on the X scale
    This event caused another sharp rise in Protons, as we see here on the current GOES Proton Flux.

    NOAA Alerts:
    ALERT: Proton Event 100MeV Integral Flux exceeded 1pfu
    Begin Time: 2012 Jan 27 1900 UTC

    ALERT: Proton Event 10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 10pfu
    Begin Time: 2012 Jan 27 1905 UTC
    NOAA Scale: S1 – Minor
    This X 1.7 Flare started bombarding the Ionosphere with protons within minutes of being released from the Sun. The majority of the energy is extinguished in the extreme lower region of the ionosphere (around 50-80 km in altitude). This area is particularly important to radio communications because this is the area where most of the absorption of radio signals energy occurs. The enhanced ionization produced by incoming energetic protons increases the absorption levels in the lower ionosphere and can have the effect of completely blocking all ionospheric radio communications through the polar regions. Such events are known as Polar Cap Absorption events (or PCAs). These events commence and last as long as the energy of incoming protons at approximately greater than 10 MeV exceeds roughly 10 pfu. This graph shows the frequencies that are currently being affected, and where.
    The explosion also produced a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME): SOHO movie. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the cloud raced away from the sun at 2500 km/s or 5.6 million mph. The CME is not heading toward Earth, although it is too soon to rule out some kind of glancing blow on Jan. 28-29. Stay tuned for updates.


  2. Raven says:

    After reading your book my awareness and understanding has reached a level I once would have only imagined! I can not thank you enough for your effort, insight and the absolutely unquestionable depth of knowledge your book provides.
    Blessings as always Alvin you should be commended for what you have done for anyone trying to understand the changes facing us all!
    I can’t say thank you enough!!


  3. Philippino Bob says:

    If this chart is any indication the present solar activity appears to be very lame so far. This could change of course.
    Have a look at these two charts (91 months and 131 months) of SC-5 SC-24 Layman’s count comparison.


  4. Debra says:

    Hey Alvin and all – I read somewhere – I can’t find it now – that the north and south poles act as antenna’s during a CME and / or solar flare. I am a complete novice but I’m wondering if that is so, and if so, then could what is happening at the south pole perhaps be a result of the sun’s activity during the last week? I realize everything is connected in some way but it makes me wonder if this could be more directly related. Thanks so much for all you and your readers contribute.


    • 2010 Lecture series: Earth’s Magnetic field by Geophysicist Cathy Constable

      Thanks Debra. I’m going to include an actual lecture series on the Earth’s magnetic field in here from A UC series. It gives some interesting background information on your question and the way the planet works. Thanks for the support. If you have more questions, let me know after viewing this.

      Best wishes,


  5. luisport says:

    Space Weather Message Code: WARPC0
    Serial Number: 52
    Issue Time: 2012 Jan 28 0634 UTC

    EXTENDED WARNING: Proton 100MeV Integral Flux above 1pfu expected
    Extension to Serial Number: 51
    Valid From: 2012 Jan 27 1900 UTC
    Now Valid Until: 2012 Jan 28 1630 UTC
    Warning Condition: Persistence


  6. Countrygirl says:

    Hi Alvin, it appears once again we have narrowly missed the full effects if an X class flare, thank the Lord. I was hoping you could explain what would have happened had sunspot 1402 been facing earth when that massive eruption occurred? It is plain scary just how fast the effects can be felt! Have you seen the movie, Knowing? I wonder if the sun is really capable of putting us in the scenario depicted in that movie…Thank you Alvin and may God continue to bless you and your work here on EP.


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