Remember that cool animation I posted earlier of AR1520 and how I said there’s no guarantee it wouldn’t unleash an X-class flare? Well at 16:48 UT today, it did. Just goes to show there’s no guarantees in space!
The X1.4-class flare will most likely affect Earth’s magnetic field as 1520 is directly facing us. Stay tuned for more!
Video & image: NASA/SDO and the AIA science team.
UPDATE: The CME associated with this flare is expected to impact Earth’s magnetosphere on Saturday between 3 and 5 p.m. EDT with “moderate to severe” activity possible. See an animated tracker here. (H/T to Francis Reddy at GSFC.) Also in the lineup for impact are MESSENGER and MSL.
A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!