Occurred on the Sun is the largest outbreak

Above — the schedule of the flare activity of the Sun according to the satellite GOES; below — the image of the sun with a telescope at the observatory AIA SDO.

Sunday evening Moscow time in the sun was a major event — the largest in the last 12 months, the level of solar flare M6.6. Event had an explosive pulse profile with a very fast, ten, growth phase — from 20:28 to 20:38 MSK. According to the satellite monitoring of space weather GOES (USA), X-ray flux in Earth orbit at the maximum flash up about 200 times, then kept elevated for about 2 hours. Now, over a period of several hours to days can be expected coming to Earth streams of charged particles from the flare region, and then, within three days, the arrival of the clouds of ionized gas is almost always ejected from the solar atmosphere during flares. Area in 1158, where there was an outbreak at the time of the event was near the central solar longitude, that is right in front of the Earth. This situation, where the impact of solar events on the Earth is the maximum. Thus, the observations can very likely forecast for February 16, geomagnetic disturbances, but it is not completely clear what force.

Outbreak occurred belongs to the fourth class flare activity on a scale in which the outbreak identified by the letters A, B, C, M and X. Outbreaks are classified by their production of X-ray flux at the Earth's orbit. With each subsequent class in power surpasses the previous 10 times. Single-class X flare on the sun was not registered with the December 14, 2006, that is, for more than 4 years. As for flares M, they in the same four-year period was 35, but only two of them were bigger than the Sunday event: this is the level of M8.9 flare of June 04, 2007 and occurred almost exactly a year ago, the flash level M8. 3 of 12 February 2010. These two events were separated by a deep solar minimum, which came in 2008-2009. Thus, the outbreak of 2007, in fact, was the last major event preceding the 23rd solar cycle, and the outbreak of February 12, 2010 and the last outbreak occurred on February 13, 2011 are as yet the most powerful events of the new 24-second cycle, is now developing on the Sun.

Despite the strength of the flash and its very high geoeffectiveness until observational data do not allow to predict the strong perturbations, and suggest, rather, the opposite. First of all, the region of the flare, despite the very high energy, is a young and was formed only three days ago. For this reason, it could not yet accumulate a large number of dense plasma that could be thrown by explosion. The most dangerous to the Earth in this regard are the oldest active areas with plenty of substance, often seen as a cold dense fibers surrounding the sunspots. The presence of large emissions until confirmed by direct observations from space coronagraphs LASCO, which are not recorded movements of large masses in the solar neighborhood. Finally, the pulsed nature of the outbreak, in general, not specific to the event with the release of the substance, and in the latter case, there are far more lengthy profiles, as in the event of 1 August 2010, which caused one of the strongest magnetic storms last year.

Final forecast of the power of geomagnetic disturbances may be adjusted in the course of these days. One can only say with certainty that whatever the amount of plasma was not released into the Earth will shift, to reach our planet it should in the morning of 16 February 2011.

Laboratory of X-ray astronomy of the Sun, LPISource: Tesis.Lebedev.ru.

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