Earlier this month sunspot AR1429 which was the source of several strong solar flares and geomagnetic storms is beginning to reappear after a two week trip on the other (backside) of the sun. While on the backside there was a least one X class solar flare. Solar flares are ranked by strength using five categories: A, B, C, M and X. With the return of sunspot AR1429, this region seems to be very active. In the image below, magnetic loops towering over the sun’s NE limb signal the sunspot’s approach.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) earlier today photographed huge plumes of plasma rising and falling over the limb of the sun (See the video below). Also, Two C category solar flares, a C5 and C7, also erupted creating an enormous magnetic canopy causing waves of ionization to ripple through the high atmosphere. If this continues, sunspot AR1429 may once again create havoc with satellites in orbit which may interfere with satellite communications or damage power grids on Earth but also allow the beautiful green aurora’s near the Earth’s poles.
Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory