Sun Spews Earth-Directed Flares

Article Updated: 7 Jan , 2016


On June 14th, for the second day in a row, sunspot AR1504 erupted and hurled a Coronal Mass Ejection toward Earth. says the fast-moving (1360 km/s) cloud is expected to sweep up a previous CME and deliver a combined blow to Earth’s magnetic field on June 16th around 10:16 UT. So, high latitude skywatchers should be on the lookout for possible aurorae.

This same active region has been producing several C-class solar flares and five M-class solar flares the past week, and has now developed a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for strong solar flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of M-flares and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

Thanks to the Solar Dynamics Observatory, scientists can keep an eye on all this activity. The top video starts off with a view from June 9 to 12 in the 171 angstrom wavelengths, showing coronal loops extending off of the Sun where plasma moves along magnetic field lines, and then shows the flares in 304 angstrom.

A shape-shifting active region; AR1504 rotated over the eastern limb of the Sun on June 9 and started its journey across the Earth facing side of the Sun with a M-class solar flare. Between June 9 and 14 a total of 5 M-class flares were observed, of which the long-duration June 13 flare hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) our way.

Below is a view of the sunspots in optical wavelengths. Sunspots can last weeks or months, but they do eventually disappear, often by breaking into smaller and smaller sunspots.


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Mark Goldes
June 15, 2012 5:00 PM

Solar flares can lead to a nuclear nightmare.


The worst might be prevented if we are wise and act fast!

June 15, 2012 11:24 PM

Complete rubbish and fear mongering.

June 16, 2012 11:21 AM
From someone who only predicts a free lunch and slavery, “RUSH: All right, we got big, big, big global warming news … I thought we knew everything about the sun. I thought there was everything to know that was known and that we knew it … but … global warming is unassailable as a concept … who the hell are we to say what’s possible and impossible on the sun? There’s nobody from here that’s ever been there. There’s nobody from here that’s ever been close enough to get any kind of idea what’s possible and not possible on the sun. How many people have the IQ, even the most learned among us, how many have the IQ… Read more »
June 16, 2012 1:07 PM

What a lot of rubbish.
Let me guess, you never took science class don’t you?

June 16, 2012 5:49 PM

Saying no to your mentor or you think and NASA are scratch&sniff games.

Wezley Jackson
June 18, 2012 2:41 PM
Hmmm…. Not what Bill Murtagh at NOAA says.. Not what officials within DHS seem to believe…. NASA itself has quite a few articles pointing out the Carrington Event of 1864 was estimated to be X23+ flare with associated CME… The only thing unknown is how often these solar super storms happen since we only have one recorded since industrialization 200+ years ago.. Not what hundreds of electrical technicians and physicists are saying – such as: and google “Solar Storms Effects on Nuclear and Electrical Installations” and Geomagnetically Induced Currents as Ground Effects of Space and in particular All written by highly qualified respected scientists.. And government agencies and employees: If you want to remain… Read more »
June 15, 2012 5:37 PM
I’ve been watching this series of sunspots with an old 60mm refractor I have. I project Sol’s image or the moon’s image – both work really well – onto a piece of white art board. The projected image of Sol (And the Moon) is about 3 inches in diameter and shows quite a bit of sunspot detail. I am using 2 stacked UV filters and a polarizing filter to bump the contrast. This is working quite well actually. I tried using a deep red IR filter, but that darkened the image way too much requiring me to put a towel over my head to see anything. Too hot for that action! (Whewy… gonna be in the lo 90’s… Read more »
June 17, 2012 7:00 PM

But Oaf and the 3 oaflettes said the following was a hoax:

“Space Weather Message Code: ALTK06

Serial Number: 285

Issue Time: 2012 Jun 16 2247 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6

Threshold Reached: 2012 Jun 16 2245 UTC

Synoptic Period: 2100-2400 UTC

Active Warning: Yes

NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.

Induced Currents – Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.

Spacecraft – Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.

Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.

Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state”

(“Alerts Issued by SEC”;