X class solar flare ejection may hit Earth with solar storm

From the WUWT Solar Reference page, an X 1.2 event has occurred:

Xray[1]

From NASA Spaceweather:

Giant sunspot AR1944 erupted on Jan 7th at approximately 1832 UT, producing a powerful X1-class solar flare. First-look coronagraph images from the STEREO-Ahead spacecraft appear to show a coronal mass ejection (CME) emerging from the blast site. If so, the CME is almost certainly heading for Earth. Stay tuned for updates as more data arrive from the NASA-ESA Heliophysics Fleet.

One of the biggest sunspots in years is crossing the center of the solar disk, putting Earth in the way of potential eruptions. Rocky Raybell photographed the active region named “AR1944” yesterday from his backyard in Keller, Washington:

The sprawling sunspot contains dozens of dark cores, the largest big enough to swallow Earth three times over.

Here is the latest SDO image:

latest_512_4500[1]

This graphic from Tamitha Skov

Solar_flare_X12_01-7-14

More at the WUWT Solar Reference page

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I suppose some will blame George Bush or this…

MrX

“However, the extreme event in 1859 is theorised to have been well over X40 so a Z class designation is possible.” – Wikipedia on the Carrington event.
So X class is a linear scale. In 1859, it set telegraph systems on fire. That’s impressive. Does a solar minimum affect the probability of X class flares, or are they random?

It is fortunate that the probability of an Aurora Borealis display coincides with clear skies! My outdoor heated eyeball observatory is ready, the hottub is at 104°F. Goodie.

Its amazing how dangerous CO2 is – now terrestrial CO2 is altering conditions on the surface of the sun!

Tom,R,Worc,MA,USA

When can the earth expect an impact (if any)?

artwest

In the interests of enlightening the lay person, are there likely to be any effects noticeable to the average Earthling?

Steve Keohane

Any estimates on arrival time? Looking at CMEs, they appear to have a wide range in velocity.

Alan Robertson

Doug Huffman says:
January 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm
It is fortunate that the probability of an Aurora Borealis display coincides with clear skies! My outdoor heated eyeball observatory is ready, the hottub is at 104°F. Goodie.
___________________________
I remember two such instances as a boy in Northern Oklahoma. My Grandmother took us outside and pointed out the Northern Lights and when we went home a few days later, the minister next door showed them to us and gave us some more info about “Aurora Borealis”. I’m a city boy, now and the prospect of seeing the lights from the greater Oklahoma metropolis is slim.

Bill Illis

Some video of the event.

ldd

http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/
Believe someone dropped this link here and I’ve kept it handy for just such an occasion.

Janice Moore

Thank you, Bill Illis and ldd — beautiful (Bill) and spot on informative (both of you).

ldd

You’re quite welcome Janice, I love the northern lights and have been keeping an eye on that rather large black spot on the SUN in recent days…wondering if it would give us a show.

Steve Keohane

ldd says:January 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm
Thanks for the link for aurora forecasts. I remember seeing them in N. Indiana and Massachusetts in the 50s and 60s. Since moving slightly south to central Colorado in 1972, I’ve not seen them.

artwest says: January 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm “In the interests of enlightening the lay person, are there likely to be any effects noticeable to the average Earthling?” Can’t yet be told precisely. Watch for the Wing Kp Index to update. Kp≥5 is about minimum for a visible aurora (not just the glow) in the contiguous US.

AR1944 sits on a Hale Boundary [ http://www.leif.org/research/Hale-Flares.pdf ] as you can see here: http://www.leif.org/research/2014-01-07.png and is thus expected to be active.

Bob Weber

From http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/30/msm-finally-gets-that-the-suns-magnetic-field-has-flipped/
lsvalgaard says:
January 6, 2014 at 9:58 am
Bob Weber says:
January 6, 2014 at 9:40 am
AR1944, when it rolls into position and if it fires off a flare towards us
[lsvalgaard]
I don’t think AR1944 will be flaring a lot…
It is in the wrong position with respect to the large-scale magnetic flux, e.g.http://www.leif.org/research/Hale-Flares.pdf
What made you change your mind?

wobble

MrX says:
In 1859, it set telegraph systems on fire. That’s impressive.

I’m open to having my mind changed, but I’m skeptical about the telegraph fires being caused by this event. I have no doubt that there was correlation, but….

Bob Weber

Artwest – from yesterday, where I said
Bob Weber says:
January 6, 2014 at 9:40 am
“Electric space weather: “FLARES LIKELY TODAY: Giant sunspot AR1944 has a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for potent Earth-directed eruptions.” – http://www.spaceweather.com/ “A minor S1 level radiation storm remains in progress following an increase in Earth directed proton levels. Unfortunately for us sky watchers, the bright coronal mass ejection (CME) it generated is likely directed away from our planet.” SSN=225, SFI=218 – http://www.solarham.net/ [“FORTUNATELY” would have been a better choice of words considering…] Further, the largest and quickest spikes I have ever seen in ACE LE Electrons (a double spike) and ACE HE Protons – http://solarimg.org/artis/ – AR1944, when it rolls into position and if it fires off a flare towards us, look for atmospheric brightening, a delayed warm blast from the tropics, an another planetary wave induced SSW, and the polar vortex to deliver another wave of bone-chilling killer cold – all Electric/Magnetic Weather Effects.”
Today, photons, protons, and electrons are arriving. You may feel bad in some way today, headache, stomach ache, tired, cranky, all recurring symptoms from electric space weather as it filters down to you. I call it all the “electric weather effect”. Don’t let it get you down. There’s nothing new under the sun.

RoHa

X class solar flare ejection?
That has to mean we are doomed.

Old Ranga

Can someone clarify why Aurora Borealis is mentioned but not Aurora Australis as well. Are those of us Down Under unlikely to see anything interesting?

EW3

Not a good time of the year to lose power in the north.

Michael Kinville

I’ve been living in North Pole, AK for a little over 3 years, and photographing the Northern Lights is a hobby of mine. At midnight last night there were no Northern Lights visible. As I left for work this morning at 7:30 (Alaska Standard Time), more than 3 hours before sunrise, there was an unusual amount of Northern Lights visible. That’s a nice way to start the day.
My “go-to” source for information on the Northern Lights is the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks website; http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/NorthAmerica/2014/01/07 which has forecasted the greatest aurora activity this Thursday and Friday. Our weather forecast doesn’t look good for viewing this, but I’ll have my camera’s batteries charged and my fingers crossed.

ldd

EW3 says:
January 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm
That happens with or without any flares from the SUN, more often it’s those winter winds coupled with heavy snow and/or ice that’s usually the cause.
Old Ranga says:
January 7, 2014 at 5:04 pm
If you check the link I left, there’s a red “view” line that indicates where you most likely will see them. I’ve never seen them reach the continent of Australia yet.
From northern Ontario originally although living very close to the St. Lawrence River now, I have seen the northern lights often. Once they were very visible in the summer, early 70’s and we were camping way up north – quite the sight to see them reflecting off the water. I’ve seen the small green circles in the night sky and the red/orange hues at dusk on the northern horizon, in winters. Other than that one camping trip, usually don’t get to see them as strong as the lucky Norwegians/Scandinavians get to see them. Search for their pictures – amazing stuff.

Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm
What made you change your mind?
In my initial judgement I took a too hasty look at the LMSAL polarity chart [ http://www.leif.org/research/2014-01-07.png from http://www.lmsal.com/forecast/ ], but the chart is wildly misleading:
1) the open flux regions have borders that are the opposite of the enclosed coronal holes: black holes [negative] have a white boundary
2) the poles do not have the correct polarity: south is now negative, north is positive, but the neutral line shows a positive south and a negative north. This is because LMSAL uses an annual [smoothed] value of the polarity
3) the HMF has been positive the past 16 days and a sector boundary (+,-) is expected in three days or so:
2013 10 22 2459 XXXXX.X**XXX….XX*….*XXX
2013 11 18 2460 XXXX*X*XX……….*…..*X
2013 12 15 2461 *XXXXXXX….*……….*
56789-123456789-1123456789-
So, AR1944 is actually on a Hale boundary after all.

Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm
all Electric/Magnetic Weather Effects
That is just your unfounded opinion. Careful analyses by many people [well-trodden path that we have been down many times before] do not support your claim.

Eric Gisin

I’m googling “coronal mass ejection” for the past 24h, and half results are religious sites.
Here’s a good science article: http://www.universetoday.com/107864/monster-sunspot-erupts-with-an-x-class-flare/
The SWPC forecasters said they are anticipating G2 (Moderate) Geomagnetic Storm conditions to occur on January 9, followed by G1 (Minor) levels January 10. NOAA estimates the CME headed towards Earth might produce a Kp number of 6.

EW3 says: January 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm “Not a good time of the year to lose power in the north.”
Prayerfully, anyone liable has made preparations. My only household service dependent on mains power is the deep well. I’d scoop and melt snow if needed. Primary heat is subsidized electric baseboards, with a propane gas-log, on a 500 gallon tank, that works fine as a convection heater, though it has a blower.
All glass is old double pane. The bedroom double casement window is covered by a fancy insulating blackout drape against the full Moon reflecting off the snowfield – it is like daylight, it will wake us. The drape is so effective that there is a centimeter of ice on the bottom of the casement, and the room is toasty.

Bob Weber

Thank you for your clarification. Things never stop moving out there, do they? Just been looking at a number of your Hale boundary articles, still reading in fact. If that arctic vortex cranks up again in 4.5 days or less, and behaves like this episode, that would be some validation, eh? We’ll see. Bz is negative right now. I happen to think there are (were) people in high places who learned all about this a long time ago, but it was masked for CAGW agenda purposes. Just sayin’. Do you have any idea what happened here? http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/solar/solarradio.html
Solar Radio Spectral Event Data 1967-present, ——No Data Found—— SolarGate?
Do you know where I can find it? I’ll be calling NOAA tomorrow.

Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm
If that arctic vortex cranks up again in 4.5 days or less, and behaves like this episode, that would be some validation, eh?
No it would not. One swallow does not a summer make. And are you prepared to completely disown your ideas if the vortex does not ‘crank up’? If you are not, then verification goes out the window.
I happen to think there are (were) people in high places who learned all about this a long time ago, but it was masked for CAGW agenda purposes
I happen to think that is plain nonsense.
Do you know where I can find it? I’ll be calling NOAA tomorrow.
Dataset disappears for many reasons: sloppy reorg. of web sites, too little interest, ‘in with the new, out with the old’, etc.

The origin of the X1 event was in AR 11943 and not in AR 11944. Although AR 11943 has only tiny spots (visible at 1K or higher resolutions), this is the second time over the last few days that the trailing polarity section of AR 11943 has been the origin of a CME producing event. The first time was an M1 flare on January 4. Even SWPC got the location of the flare correct this time: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/events/20140107events.txt

Alan Gore

Will this cause more polar vortices and global warming? Hopefully the shadow government can shield us with HAARP emissions and chemtrails,..well that is IF the reptilian overlords don’t stop them.

Bob Weber says January 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Today, photons, protons, and electrons are arriving. You may feel bad in some way today, headache, stomach ache, tired, cranky, all recurring symptoms from electric space weather as it filters down to you.

Gee, do you figure any of this will be detectable at the surface using an electrometer (glorified Leyden jar)? Or will our atmosphere, in particular, the ionosphere, shield us?
/rhetorical
.

Bob Weber

Several science papers I found just the other discuss the effects of solar wind interactions with the GEC and the creation of planetary waves, waves that can produce sudden stratospheric warming. events. This isn’t the venue for a detailed discussion. The solar wind interaction with the GEC produces ion diffusion into the atmosphere that many papers have produced evidence for, including Svensmark. You guys might help yourselves to the free and open internet and spend some time learning what a great many scientists worldwide have learned about solar wind and atmospheric ions.
Dr. Svalgaard – in your paper http://www.leif.org/research/Hale-Flares.pdf, the link here isn’t working: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SOLAR_FLARES/
Nonsense – I’ve been looking for a while, can’t find it. There is vital information in those datasets.

Bob Weber

Dr. Svalgaard I noticed you didn’t mention in that article on the Hale boundaries how the flares are created – what causes solar flares?

Just our luck that the NRC (Penticton) 10 cm observations at ftp://ftp.geolab.nrcan.gc.ca/data/solar_flux/daily_flux_values/fluxtable.txt appear to be down. Is that co-incidental instrument failure. Or did something get fried by the flare?

Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm
Several science papers I found just the other discuss the effects of solar wind interactions with the GEC and the creation of planetary waves, waves that can produce sudden stratospheric warming. events. This isn’t the venue for a detailed discussion.
You are right, one should not try to hijack the thread with this.
great many scientists worldwide have learned about solar wind and atmospheric ions.
I may be behind the times, but to my knowledge there are not a ‘great many scientists’ who peddle such.
Dr. Svalgaard – in your paper http://www.leif.org/research/Hale-Flares.pdf, the link here isn’t working: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SOLAR_FLARES/
Such is the internet: you can never count on any permanence of anything.
There is vital information in those datasets.
And with some effort that data can surely be retrieved somehow. I don’t consider it vital enough to keep chasing after it. It was there when I needed it. Good enough for me.
Dr. Svalgaard I noticed you didn’t mention in that article on the Hale boundaries how the flares are created – what causes solar flares?
A flare is a conversion of magnetic energy into electric currents, and heat. A potential magnetic field [e.g. that from a simple dipole] has no free energy and cannot lead to a flare, but because the magnetic field is effectively frozen into the solar plasma, movements of the plasma [below the surface] can twist and writhe the magnetic field, increasing the energy stored in the field. This process can proceed until plasma instabilities and magnetic reconnection make the structure ‘blow up’, dumping the energy down [and up] heating the plasma to millions of degrees: a flare.
Walter Dnes says:
January 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm
Just our luck that the NRC (Penticton) 10 cm observations at ftp://ftp.geolab.nrcan.gc.ca/data/solar_flux/daily_flux_values/fluxtable.txt appear to be down. Is that co-incidental instrument failure. Or did something get fried by the flare?
It is coincidental: the site stopped producing data two days ago. Probably some instrumental problem.

lsvalgaard says:
January 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm
Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm
“I happen to think there are (were) people in high places who learned all about this a long time ago, but it was masked for CAGW agenda purposes”
I happen to think that is plain nonsense.
Dataset disappears for many reasons: sloppy reorg. of web sites, too little interest, ‘in with the new, out with the old’, etc.

As I thought, a bit of reorganization has taken place:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/space-weather/solar-data/solar-features/solar-flares/

Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm
I happen to think there are (were) people in high places who learned all about this a long time ago, but it was masked for CAGW agenda purposes….SolarGate?
If you weren’t so hung up on your conspiracy theories you must have stumbled over the data here:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/space-weather/solar-data/solar-features/solar-radio/radio-bursts/reports/spectral-listings/
As I said: reorgs.

Marc DeRosa

lsvalgaard says:
January 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm
In my initial judgement I took a too hasty look at the LMSAL polarity chart [ http://www.leif.org/research/2014-01-07.png from http://www.lmsal.com/forecast/ ], but the chart is wildly misleading:

2) the poles do not have the correct polarity: south is now negative, north is positive, but the neutral line shows a positive south and a negative north. This is because LMSAL uses an annual [smoothed] value of the polarity

Hi Leif,
There are of course the usual caveats about this phase of the cycle being more difficult to model [weak polar fields plus relatively strong activity belts make the current sheet more sensitive to unassimilated activity and flow parameterizations built in to the model, etc etc], but I note that overlays of modeled open-flux boundaries on EUV images indicate that the model is picking up much of the coronal hole(s) presently on disk, and these coronal holes are apparently overlying negative polarity, even in the northern hemisphere. See http://www.lmsal.com/forecast/modelEUV/VSLeuv_00211_fd_20140107_1958.gif in comparison with http://sdowww.lmsal.com/sdomedia/SunInTime/2014/01/07/l_HMImag.jpg

Marc DeRosa says:
January 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm
There are of course the usual caveats about this phase of the cycle being more difficult to model [weak polar fields plus relatively strong activity belts make the current sheet more sensitive to unassimilated activity and flow parameterizations built in to the model, etc etc]
Yes, this is difficult and we must take what we have and not forget the caveats. To make the model a bit more useful could I get you to fix the contour problem: that white contours surround black holes and vice versa. Please make the contour matchs the polarity of the holes.

Janice Moore

Bob Weber said on January 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm
“…Today, photons, protons, and electrons are arriving. You may feel bad in some way today, … cranky,… .”
Yeah! Come to think of it. Around 4:38pm, today, … !! In FACT…., it made me so irritated I had to go out for a run with my German Shepherd and not return here for over 4 hours to avoid saying something I might regret. Whew! Am I glad to know that it wasn’t me.
Mr. Weber, I think you may have discovered something important.

Janice Moore says:
January 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm
“…Today, photons, protons, and electrons are arriving. You may feel bad in some way today, … cranky,… .”
Yeah! Come to think of it. Around 4:38pm, today, … !! In FACT…., it made me so irritated

Strangely enough, I have felt fine all day…

Janice Moore

Dear Dr. Svalgaard,
And, of course, so did I. You are a much more gracious and loving person toward people like Mr. Weber than I am. I am ashamed. Given his utter sincerity, I should not have mocked him. That was unkind of me. I am glad that you commented on this so that it got me to admit my wrong.
With high admiration for your patience,
Janice
P.S. And I am glad that you have felt fine, today! #(:))
*******************************************************************
@ Mr. Weber — while I cannot say that I agree with you in the slightest, given your utter sincerity, it was wrong of me to make fun of you. I hope you can, at least, realize what a great gift you are being given to have your hypotheses answered by as fine a scholar as Dr. Svalgaard.

Marc DeRosa

lsvalgaard says:
January 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm
To make the model a bit more useful could I get you to fix the contour problem: that white contours surround black holes and vice versa. Please make the contour matchs the polarity of the holes.

That was tried, but we found that the open-flux contours stand out better in grayscale images if their color were opposite to the polarity, especially in the activity belts. I can see how this is confusing at the poles, however.

Janice Moore says:
January 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm
Given his utter sincerity, I should not have mocked him.
It is best just to stick with the science [if possible…]
Marc DeRosa says:
January 7, 2014 at 9:12 pm
I can see how this is confusing at the poles, however.
I would strongly opt for less confusion, please…

Bob Weber

Isn’t it great that Dr. Svalgaard has time for everyone. The first new link you gave has data ending a few years ago. The second link has very old data. Did I look for the right dataset? I’m looking for the best dataset available that will allow me to integrate the energy of photons across all wavelengths minute by minute if possible, for each day of SC23 & SC24. What dataset is most appropriate for this?
For all you who live in the southern states that were unaffected by the winter weather, yea, lucky you, you don’t have the same experience as the people in the northern states who live, work, and feel the weather day in day out. So many people report sensitivity to the weather in the manner I spoke of, and you comments reflect more than just insensitivity – more like callousness. It would take you brainiac doubters less than fifteen minutes to find dozens of solid papers on weather-related health issues.
Not every human reacts the same to the same bad weather stimuli, but after living here in N. Mich, for 50+ years, there’s a widespread awareness of those “bad” weather-related feelings. At this point I feel sorry for a few recent commenters whose lack of compassion for their fellow man is so unjustified. In balmy California, or anywhere in fair weather, the human body feels no ill effects from atmospheric ions or other metrics. Janice your wisecracks are pathetic, I am sorry to have to say that, but that’s what they are.

Janice Moore

Dear Mr. Weber,
Whether or not my wisecracks were pathetic or witty, they were wrong. Believe me, I have far more compassion for you than you will likely ever realize. Please forgive me for offending you. My wicked desire to be humorous overrode my better (yes, I really have a good side) nature.
And I live at about latitude 48 in NW Wash. St.. Keep warm and
Take care out there,
Janice

Bob Weber says:
January 7, 2014 at 9:47 pm
I’m looking for the best dataset available that will allow me to integrate the energy of photons across all wavelengths minute by minute if possible, for each day of SC23 & SC24. What dataset is most appropriate for this?
That dataset is called TSI, but does not have minute-by-minute resolution [unless you go to the raw data – which you don’t want to do, as then you will have to deal with calibration problems and low-level stuff]. Also you don’t need minute-by-minute resolution, six hours should be good enough; the polar vortex doesn’t react on a minute-by-minute basis 🙂
you don’t have the same experience as the people in the northern states who live, work, and feel the weather day in day out.
I grew up in Denmark and have lived and worked in Northern Greenland at 10,000 feet altitude…
find dozens of solid papers on weather-related health issues
But not electric-magnetic issues…

Sylvia


This is a link that’s providing a video with enough clues to dig in information that’s contradicting the electro-magnetic health issues. Of course, heart palpitations can be interpreted as neutral, but interpretation is just before evaluation and conclusion. As a behavioural therapist I know what I’m talking about.

Leif
Several years ago we discussed the potentially devastating effect on modern society of another Carrington event.
The UK Govt seems to have become aware of the problem and asked the Met Office to monitor such things as solar flares.
In case you didn’t catch the item here it is;
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2013/space-weather-forecasts
Monitoring is one thing and providing actual protection to vulnerable installations is another, however its a start.
In my opinion I would be far more concerned at the sudden devastation potential of another Carrington event than of hard to discern global warming.
tonyb