Sun produces four X-class flares in two days

Solar_Xray_5-14-13

Above: note the four separate events in the last two days – from the WUWT Solar Page

(From NASA’s Spaceweather.com) When the week began, the sun hadn’t unleashed an X-flare all year long. In only two days, sunspot AR1748 has produced four. The latest X-flare from this active sunspot occured on May 15th at 0152 UT. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash: 

Although the sunspot is not directly facing Earth, this flare might have produced a CME with an Earth-directed component. We are waiting for coronagraph data from SOHO and the twin STEREO probes to check this possibility. Stay tuned for updates.

In summary, AR1748 has produced an X1.7-class flare (0217 UT on May 13), an X2.8-class flare (1609 UT on May 13), an X3.2-class flare (0117 UT on May 14), and an X1-class flare (0152 on May 15). These are the strongest flares of the year, and they signal a significant increase in solar activity.

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
lowercasefred

If you have ever paid much attention to water boiling in a pot, you may have noticed that when you allow it to cool down from a hard rolling boil the bubbles get larger. I think this is because the turbulence decreases and the bubbles are able to adhere to the bottom of the pot and grow before detaching.
I wonder if we are seeing a phenomenon like this with the sun. Turbulence is decreasing and the flares get larger.

Bill_W

I thought a watched pot never boils, so I don’t watch.

Dell from Michigan

Interestingly, after a fairly cool spring, with wide spread record breaking cold temps the past week, we are seeing a massive heatwave coming a few days after these massive solar flares.
Coincidence?????
Or could it be that fluctuations of energy coming from that big giant orb of energy up there in the sky, has a greater affect on Earth’s temps than a 1/100th of 1% increase of the level of CO2 in the atmosphere?

taxed

Well l hope these flares help to push the jet stream northwards here in the UK.
Otherwise it looks like we are in for a other cool wet summer.

Ian W

Dell from Michigan says:
May 15, 2013 at 4:53 am

Ask Piers Corbyn

DaveF

lowercasefred 4:38am and Bill_W 4:45am:
So does this mean that if we stop watching the sun it’ll boil? Oh my God it’s worse than we thought and it’s All Our Fault!

Greg Goodman

Dell from Michigan says: Interestingly, after a fairly cool spring, with wide spread record breaking cold temps the past week, we are seeing a massive heatwave coming a few days after these massive solar flares.
Should be interesting to see whether there is any detectable influence in Arctic ice coverage. A strong event after a quiet start may show something if there’s a linkage.

Martin

Dell from Michigan – it’s a bit more complicated than that. Here in London the temperature has plunged and we’re back to winter temperatures after a week of warm sunny spring. So yes, coincidence.

OssQss

If anyone is interested, you can receive notice of such events in real time.
https://pss.swpc.noaa.gov/LoginWebForm.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fproductsubscriptionservice%2f

Has anyone notice over the past few days a phenomenon when the sky is cloudy the clouds seem to glow an intense greyish-yellow color? I’ve only seen this during years when solar maxim is occurring or when large Flares occur.
Here’s is a heliocentric view of the solar system from May 15, about the time the X-class flares took place, to give an Idea of the direction.
http://thetempestspark.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/may-15-2013.jpeg
This is what I have been working on, the orange line is a plot with physical parameters.
http://thetempestspark.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/solar-activity-mod-1.gif

1phobosgrunt

Dell from Michigan says:
May 15, 2013 at 4:53 am
Interestingly, after a fairly cool spring, with wide spread record breaking cold temps the past week, we are seeing a massive heatwave coming a few days after these massive solar flares..
Pretty much same here east central Wisconsin. Joke in these parts is.. from Winter to Summer again..
If Dr. S. is lurking, some good articles left over on the “Open Thread Sunday” thread. (related to northpole, north magnetic pole, north geomagnetic pole etc..) might could be some good extracurricular reading for you, with your background already..just want to make sure you stay rounded and diverse.
Did the Voyager 1 get shrunk out of the heliosphere bubble twice? How much do the boundaries fluctuate during minimum periods such as this?

here is another view
NASA movie
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/LATEST/current_c2.gif
there is an object shooting ‘towards’ the sun most likely meteor or may be another satellite
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/LATEST/current_c2.gif
appears at 2013/05/11 21.12 till 2013/05/12 02.36 (clock face location 6.30)

Retired Engineer John

Are the hard X-ray flares recorded in the TSI? The energy of these flares would pass through most detectors without being recorded. The TSI reading are sufficiently detailed that these flares should show as some sort of spike in the readings.

Retired Engineer John says:
May 15, 2013 at 6:45 am
Are the hard X-ray flares recorded in the TSI?
Even if they do, too short in duration to make any lasting difference, but there are some other important aspects:
Solar coronal mass ejections – CMEs (accompanying a flare) in the even-numbered solar cycles (as is current one SC24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north.
Such CMEs open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma starting a geomagnetic storm. In that respect the Earth’s magnetic field response to the even and odd numbered cycles is slightly different.
Does this matter? maybe, maybe not.
Do we have any evidence? Some evidence is found in Jackson (ETHZ) and Bloxham (Harvard) calculations, they found the lengh of day – LOD changes as inferred from the Earth’s magnetic dynamo, as I illustrated here
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-LOD.htm
Is the LOD change caused by solar activity? known unknown .
What about climate change? that is even a greater known unknown, but if you are curious enough, one could speculate:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EarthNV.htm

Hi Mod,
I inserted ‘b’ instead of ‘i’. my apologies.

1phobosgrunt says: May 15, 2013 at 5:42 am
…………..
Ms C, you are a mischievous lady.

theorichel

I’d be interested to know into how much extra ionising radiation on earth (milliSievert) this translates. Not that I am affraid of it, but it’d be nice to know for instance how this compares for instance to the fallout of Hiroshima or other large radiation events.

Byron

lowercasefred says:
May 15, 2013 at 4:38 am
” cool down from a hard rolling boil”
————————————————————————
I thought the same thing many years ago , as I`ve observed that on a much larger scale , 2 tonnes of liquid 30 carbon steel in an induction furnace , back the power down , the smooth churning action slows down and there`s a brief period where there is “blooping” and spitting , looking at what looked like a big shiny molten yellow disc from above the furnace , it was hard not to compare it with the big shiny molten yellow disc looking thing in the sky exhibiting similar behaviour but I suspect that the mechanism could not be that simple with such vast differences in heat , substance , scale , shape and even gravitational intensity at play

JFD

I recall the high solar peak(s) in the mid to late 1950s. We used Motorola mobile phones with a squelch in our pickups to reach the base station. I was an electrical troubleshooter in the West Texas oilfields. When we would have a lightening storm, the trouble calls would start coming in from throughout the Permian Basin. The dispatcher would give you a list of 4 or 5 problems to start on in a general area. When you had the electricity back on and the wells back to pumping, you would normally call in to get more problems to fix, but the static was so bad in the late 1950s that you had to go somewhere and use a land phone to call back in if you were much over 10 to 20 miles away. Blown up transformers were fairly common. The shielding is much better these days so I wouldn’t expect as many difficulties as then, but the problems lasted a few years and were a real nuisance.
The temperatures would go above 105F in summer for several days in a row. In normal times the summertime temperatures would be 102-104 F peak. We are in the same part of the PDO cycle currently as we were back then. We attributed the hot summers to the sun in those days since we knew nothing about PDO or other natural cycles.

I wish one of them could get politicians to see the light. Hekla, Elbrus, etc concern me more.

Retired Engineer John

vukcevic says: May 15, 2013 at 6:58 am
Retired Engineer John says: May 15, 2013 at 6:45 am
Are the hard X-ray flares recorded in the TSI?
“Even if they do, too short in duration to make any lasting difference, but there are some other important aspects:”
From reading your answer; I gather that they are not recorded. The GOES15 data could be added to make the record complete. I realize that they are small compared to the total energy coming from the Sun, but to make the record complete, they should be included. I asked the question because I could not see any indication of flare energy in the TSI traces.

Anthony Scalzi

Sparks says:
May 15, 2013 at 5:25 am
Has anyone notice over the past few days a phenomenon when the sky is cloudy the clouds seem to glow an intense greyish-yellow color? I’ve only seen this during years when solar maxim is occurring or when large Flares occur.
—–
That’s usually occurs before severe thunderstorms. Green and purple shades can also be seen sometimes.

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 6:58 am
starting a geomagnetic storm. In that respect the Earth’s magnetic field response to the even and odd numbered cycles is slightly different.
No, it is not: http://www.leif.org/research/Even-Odd-Dst.png

Retired Engineer John says:
May 15, 2013 at 9:02 am
I could not see any indication of flare energy in the TSI traces.
The energy from flares is so minute that they are not detectable in TSI, with the exception of superflares which make a VERY small [barely there] blip in TSI: http://sprg.ssl.berkeley.edu/~tohban/nuggets/?page=article&article_id=10

lsvalgaard says: May 15, 2013 at 9:17 am
………
Hi Doc,
Nice to see you back.
Your link
http://www.leif.org/research/Even-Odd-Dst.png
445 storms during even cycles
374 storms during odd cycles

since 1905
is an excellent proof of what I meant when I said
CMEs in the even-numbered solar cycles (as is current one SC24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such CMEs open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma starting a geomagnetic storm. In that respect the Earth’s magnetic field response to the even and odd numbered cycles is slightly different...
Since 1905 there were 5 odd numbered cycles (15, 17, 19, 21 &23) and say 5 even cycles (1/2 of each 14 and 24, then 16, 18, 20 & 22).
So what do we have as average
445/ 5 = 89 storms/ even cycle
374/5 = 74.8 ~ 75 storms/ odd cycle
which makes it on average 18% more storms during even than odd cycles.
Since both SC14, and SC24 are the weakest cycles in the period, one could take a rough rule that since 1905 we had 20% more geomagnetic storms during even cycles.
Thanks for the info.
Back to LOD (length of day) variability:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-LOD.htm
During even cycles (more storms and stronger solar pressure on the magnetosphere) LOD increases up to 0.5ms, i.e. Earth’s rotation slows down and vice versa, during odd cycles (less storms and less solar pressure on the magnetosphere) the LOD decreases by 0.5ms, i.e. Earth’s rotation accelerates. From my link above it can be seen that rotation acceleration and de-acceleration starts with the SC maxima.
Notes on DST – Disturbance Storm Time
It is negative DST which is of consequence (see Dr. S’s link above), it is an indication of the ring current around earth caused by CMEs protons and electrons. This current produces magnetic field of opposite polarity to the Earth’s, temporarily reducing its strength by a fraction of a percentage point
Solar induced ring currents’ magnetic field acts as a magnetic brake on the Earth’s rotation rate !
Perhaps a mechanism not known previously ?
Paper on solar storms etc. without complicated maths
http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/SSTA.pdf
p.s. it was 5cm of snow today in the west of England.

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 10:31 am
445 storms during even cycles
374 storms during odd cycles since 1905 is an excellent proof of what I meant when I said

Nonsense, it is an excellent proof of confirmation bias. A CME always causes a magnetic storm, no matter what the cycle and what the polarity. The Sun was just a bit more active in even cycles which influences the number of CMEs. The Earth’s response to a CME is the same in even and odd cycles as the Figure shows.

Mac the Knife

Huh…..
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the magnetosphere, Old Sol throws four X-treme e-missy fits in a row! He does seem to have a flare for that, doesn’t he?
MtK

lsvalgaard says: May 15, 2013 at 10:40 am
……..
Hi again
Well, never mind, it was a logic escalator exercise, however I would appreciate link to the data you used for your graph:
http://www.leif.org/research/Even-Odd-Dst.png
Thanks.

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 11:04 am
Well, never mind, it was a logic escalator exercise
No logic there, just false assumptions and wrong physics.
however I would appreciate link to the data you used for your graph:
http://www.leif.org/research/Even-Odd-Dst.png

There are two datasets:
1) a list of Sudden Storm Commencements e.g. http://isgi.latmos.ipsl.fr/source/indices/ssc/
2) Dst (from J. Love). A very large file on my server. If I have some time in a bit, I’ll make it available

lsvalgaard says:
May 15, 2013 at 11:17 am
2) Dst (from J. Love). A very large file on my server. If I have some time in a bit, I’ll make it available
http://www.leif.org/research/dst-love.txt warning 19 Mb.

Joe Radosevich

A watched pot never boils but an unwatched pot boils over.
So let’s all keep an eye on the sun shall we.

Dr.S.
Downloaded. 19MB ends 2004,12,31,23, 10.9,
thanks
(if takes too much room you can remove it)

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 11:47 am
Downloaded. 19MB ends 2004,12,31,23, 10.9,
You can find newer data for both lists on the web if you want to [I did that for the Figure].

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 11:47 am
Downloaded. 19MB ends 2004,12,31,23, 10.9,
You can find out how geomagnetic activity works here: http://www.leif.org/research/NASA-SP366.pdf [big]. The paper is 40 years old, but nothing has really changed.

I’ve got copy of your old ‘typewriter technology’ paper
Geomagnetic Response to Solar Wind
I occasionally look at it, but I am slow learner.
(btw your link doesn’t work)

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm
I occasionally look at it, but I am slow learner.
(btw your link doesn’t work)

I put the typeset published version on the site now. Try that. It is easier to read and better suited for slow learners. Look at page 133ff on Geomagnetic storms. Thinking back on my children, I note that low motivation is often the excuse for slow learning. Perhaps try to be a bit more motivated.

Reblogged this on The Next Grand Minimum and commented:
I signed up for the Spaceweather.com Text Alert for X-Class Flares. Might give me time to put the vulnerable comm devices in the metal safe or my garbage can faraday cage vault.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

lsvalgaard says:
Thinking back on my children, I note that low motivation is often the excuse for slow learning. Perhaps try to be a bit more motivated.

…exchanges like these are why I keep coming back to WUWT time and again! Thanks, Lief!

CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
May 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm
…….
….or you’ve got nothing better to do.

CRS, Dr.P.H
there is strong Aurora during next 3-4 days
http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/images/Ovation_USA.png
note that it is not cantered on the ‘magnetic pole’ but on the ‘geomagnetic pole’
http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/images/polesfig1.jpg
perhaps Dr.S can elucidate so your visit was even more rewarding.

SC24 is heading for the second peak.
Yesterday NOAA’s daily count was 186 (SIDC equivalent around 130) , if I am correct, that would be the highest since 2011/11/09, when the daily NOAA count was 208.

vukcevic says:
May 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm
note that it is not cantered on the ‘magnetic pole’ but on the ‘geomagnetic pole’
This is because the magnetic pole is determined by small-scale features of the magnetic field. These fall off so strongly with altitude that they are not present in the magnetosphere where the aurorae come from.
vukcevic says:
May 16, 2013 at 1:39 am
SC24 is heading for the second peak.
And after that there will be a third peak and a fourth, etc…

Kelvin Vaughan

Martin says:
May 15, 2013 at 5:18 am
Dell from Michigan – it’s a bit more complicated than that. Here in London the temperature has plunged and we’re back to winter temperatures after a week of warm sunny spring. So yes, coincidence.
I think you spoke too soon the temperature has just started to shoot up!

Hi Dr.S.
For 1905 to 2012 sum of all SSN annual numbers for odd cycles appears to be about 13% greater than the sum for even cycles, while the number of geomagnetic storms is reverse with 18% difference.
NASA says:
Raeder explains: “We’re entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles (like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the storm gets underway. It’s the perfect sequence for a really big event.”
Sibeck agrees. “This could result in stronger geomagnetic storms than we have seen in many years.”
(magnetised north= Bz vector pointing south)
I think this is important.
?

Sorry I forgot explanatory link
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/odd_even.gif

Leif, do you have an opinion on planetary secular resonance having an effect on the solar dynamo causing a possible solar tachocline induction?

vukcevic says:
May 16, 2013 at 8:19 am
Sibeck agrees. “This could result in stronger geomagnetic storms than we have seen in many years.” (magnetised north= Bz vector pointing south)
I think this is important.

Except that if one actually looks at the data, there is no difference between even and odd cycles:
http://www.leif.org/research/Even-Odd-Dst.png so you can stop speculating. Now, take the opportunity to learn.
Such a CME should open a breach
Is from a press release dumbed down beyond the facts. There is no ‘breach’. The magnetosphere is open at all times and the solar wind is magnetically connected to the Earth’s field at all times somewhere on the magnetosphere [proof of this is that the Svalgaard-Mansurov effect is always present].
Sparks says:
May 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Leif, do you have an opinion on planetary secular resonance having an effect on the solar dynamo causing a possible solar tachocline induction?
There is no such effect.

Leif,
Can there be an effect on the suns magnetic fields interacting with secular resonance?

lsvalgaard says: May 17, 2013 at 8:30 am
…………….
In your graph
http://www.leif.org/research/Even-Odd-Dst.png
I assume you plotted DST
Blue – average of 445 storms for even cycles
Magenta – average for 374 storms for odd cycles
Is that correct ?