Sun there was a major surge in activity in the last few years
10.08.11.Rekordnym level of flare activity was the last day in the sun. On the night of the eighth of August and until noon of the ninth on a relatively quiet background in the northern hemisphere, the sun suddenly occurred just four large explosions.
All of them were recorded in the same active region, received the number 1263 in the catalog of the American Service NOAA. The first of the flares points M3.5 (a 4 power level on a 5-point scale of the flare), occurred about 10:00 pm Moscow time on August 8.
About 5 hours in the same area was recorded the second "double" flash points C, the maximum of which occurred in the 2:09 and 3:22 on Moscow. Then after about the same five-hour break here there were a third event: M2.5 flare points with a maximum at 07:54 GMT, and finally, almost exactly at noon in Moscow in the same region of the Sun there was a major explosion in the current solar cycle: Solar flash level X6.9, which lasted about 20 minutes with 11:48 to 12:08 Moscow time.
Event of such a force was extremely unexpected for this early stage of the cycle, which is now our star. At the moment there is only the second year of growth in solar activity that began at the turn of 2009 and 2010, after a very long minimum. It is difficult to say when this will stop the growth, and how much reaches the activity of the Sun — that is not clear yet when the sun goes through regular up, and how much it will be this time, but is projected to reach this point of our star has not before mid-2013 year. It is possible, however, that such a powerful energy, watching today, shows that the rate of growth of solar activity is underestimated, and the maximum output of the cycle can occur much earlier — before the end of 2012.
Regardless of the stage of the solar cycle flash level X are extremely rare. In just the last 11 years since 2000, there were registered 107, while only 9 outbreaks of this hundred, exceeded yesterday's event on the force. Record in the modern history of observations is an outbreak of April 2, 2000, which had a level of X20. In this case, the actual flash point was probably even higher, since the value of X20 corresponds to the threshold level detector spacecraft GOES, which calibrates all solar flare. In other words, exceeded the capacity of the flash point detectors. Second and third place are two outbreaks have occurred at intervals of a week in the autumn of 2003: X17.4 flare of 4 November 2011 and X17.2 of 28 October 2003. The latter event is greater than observed in power yesterday, occurred on the Sun December 5, 2006. On that day, there was an outbreak points X9.0, which two days later led to one of the most protracted magnetic storms in the cycle, which lasted about three days. Thus, outbreaks of comparable strength, in general, was not observed on the Sun is 1708 days, or 4.7 years.
Despite the strength of the event, it will be very difficult to have a serious impact on the Earth. Despite the fact that the cloud particles and plasma emitted in the direction of the planets during outbreaks have huge size — tens of millions of miles, they do not apply in all directions, but in a rather narrow angular sectors centered at the flash and angle in several tens of degrees. For this reason, the main impact on the Earth have outbreaks occurred either directly in the center of the solar disk, that is directly on the Sun-Earth line, or away from the line at an angle of no more than 30-40 degrees. Area in 1263, which happened yesterday's event was shifted relative to the Sun-Earth at an angle of about 70 degrees. As a result, even after outbreaks were reported very large emissions of plasma at velocities of about 800 km / second, they are not likely to meet with the Earth, and will be at a considerable distance from it. If, despite the large angular removal, edge emission still hooked Earth may occur on the night of 11 to 12 August.
In conclusion we can say that in the last series of explosions sun appears to maxing out the energy that has been accumulated in its atmosphere. If in the near future on the surface of the sun does not emerge from the depths of new magnetic field, the energy of which, in the end, and "burns" in flashes, then for the next few days, our star would sink into hibernation.
Source: Laboratory of X-ray astronomy of the Sun (LPI)
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