Dec
07
2006

The sun is getting angry

11 yearsun spot cycle: source; global warming art via wikipedia
11 yearsun spot cycle: source; global warming art via wikipedia

Look out for sunspot 930.

If you study the graph of sunpot activity you will note they spike every 11 years.(learn more in this previous post) The last real bad one was July 14, 2000. It was rated about X6. The next peak will be around 2011. Even though 2006 is supposed to be the low point between peaks, we just got clobbered by an X9 burst of x-rays. I think it knocked out one of the sun monitoring satellites.

NOTE: The Solar X-ray Imager onboard NOAA's GOES-13 satellite is experiencing an anomaly possibly related to the X9-flare of Dec. 5th. NOAA and NASA staff are investigating. Meanwhile, coronal hole updates are suspended.

You can see a live update on proton radiation intensity here. The Dec 5 blast was not pointed toward Earth but the sunspot is swinging our way and the forcast for another X-class blast of x-rays is 50% for the next 48 hours.

Look for more news at Spaceweather.com.

Update: Here is a photo of the Dec 5 X9 class solar flare.

Fairwell sunspot 930: Credit: SOHO/MDI
Fairwell sunspot 930: Credit: SOHO/MDI

Farewell Sunspot 930 (Dec 17)

GOODBYE... and thanks for the X-flares. Sunspot 930 announced itself on Dec. 5th with one of the strongest flares in years--an X9, followed by an X6 on Dec. 6th, an X3 on Dec. 13th and an X1 on Dec. 14th. Not bad for solar minimum! SpaceWeather.com

Want to see these flares in motion?

Dec. 5, 2006 X9 flare
Dec. 7, 2006 X6.5 flare
Dec 13, 2006 X3.4 flare
Dec. 14, 2006 X1 flare
Sept. 5, 2005 X17 flare Lucky this one wasn't pointed our way.

Sunspot 930 visible for about 12 days.

This leads me to believe the sun rotates on its axis about every 25 days. Since we are also going around the sun, exact figuring gets complicated, Read more about solar rotation here.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

The strongest solar flare on record was an X28

It occured in Nov. 5, 2003.

NOAA's Space Environment Center (SEC) has classified this flare as an X28, making it in fact the strongest ever recorded.Space.com

Luckily it was pointed away from earth, but it still blinded the satellite for 11 minutes and some feel it could have been an X40.

posted on Thu, 12/07/2006 - 6:12pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

When sunspot 930 exploded on Dec. 6th, producing an X6-category flare, it also created a tsunami-like shock wave that rolled across the face of the sun.

posted on Fri, 12/08/2006 - 1:51pm
kvang's picture
kvang says:

I agree that the sun is getting mad at us, but its also do to our own faults for polluting the earth with all the toxic waste and carbons that are breaking our ozone layer, which protects us from the UV rays. But i hope that it will be a white Christmas this year like every year that we had had so far.

posted on Tue, 12/12/2006 - 6:18pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Sunspot 930 flared again (X3 strength). According to Spaceweather.com, "satellites may experience some glitches and reboots, but astronauts are in no danger."
More information at Space.com and Spaceweather.com

posted on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 10:15am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Astronauts seek shelter from solar storm.

HOUSTON--Astronauts aboard the International Space Station and shuttle Discovery slept in protected areas of their respective spacecraft overnight to avoid the effects of a radiation storm kicked up by a massive solar flare, NASA officials said Wednesday.Space.com

The solar storm will hit Earth around noon today(Thurs).

Kunches and his team are advising satellite operators and power grid managers to keep an eye on their systems. In the past, CMEs have knocked out satellites and tripped terrestrial power grids. Engineers have learned to limit switching at electricity transfer stations, and satellite operators sometimes reduce operations or make back-up plans in case a craft is damaged.

Watch for auroras tonight.

posted on Thu, 12/14/2006 - 10:58am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Farewell Sunspot 930 (Dec 17)

GOODBYE... and thanks for the X-flares. Sunspot 930 announced itself on Dec. 5th with one of the strongest flares in years--an X9, followed by an X6 on Dec. 6th, an X3 on Dec. 13th and an X1 on Dec. 14th. Not bad for solar minimum! SpaceWeather.com

I added links to some stop-action videos of these flares at the end of the post above. Two of them ranked 4th and 15th strongest ever recorded!

posted on Sun, 12/17/2006 - 11:57pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Another angry sunspot?

Sunpot 930 was awesome. Is sunpot 940 responsible for the two angry blasts on Jan. 24th and Jan. 25th? Or is another sunspot following it? Stay tuned to SpaceWeather for updates. Their first look at sunpot 940 is up.

posted on Sat, 01/27/2007 - 4:41pm

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