Stories tagged X class


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

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!

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.