Wednesday, December 06, 2006

x9.0 Class Solar Flare

From Thomas F. Giella, KN4LF and the Propagation newsgroup (12/6/2006 @ 0702 EST):

Some interesting goings on with space weather at the moment. The solar flux reached an unusually high 105 at 2200 UTC on Tuesday December 5, 2006. Emerging sunspot group 10930 produced a huge X9 class solar flare at 1035 UTC on Tuesday December 5, 2006 and I suspect that the solar flare was actually larger than an X9.0. A huge solar flare such as this is extremely rare near the bottom of a sun spot cycle. As the solar flare was not geoeffective (Earth facing), most of the energy released by the associated the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) will miss Earth. However a glancing blow is expected and geomagnetic storming at some level is expected. More X and M class solar flares are expected in future days.Space weather goings on such as we are currently experiencing is anecdotal evidence that we are still not at the very bottom of solar cycle 23. My prediction for solar minimum continues to be June 2007.