X1.9 flare from NOAA 3184

Even before its rounding of the southeast solar limb on 8 January, NOAA 3184 was already flare active. It is a very compact sunspot group with a magnetically complex structure. Today, following a flurry of C and M-class flares, it finally produced a X1.9 flare peaking at 18:50UTC (GOES). Underneath are white light images from SDO/HMI from about 2 hours before the flare, and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images from SDO/AIA 131 showing the eruption in its full glory. The blooming and diffraction patterns are image artefacts, not related to the flare - See this STCE newsitem for more info.


So far, there have been no reports of a Type II radio burst, of coronal dimming, or of post-flare coronal loops that may associate the flaring event with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The proton flux is also still at background levels, for the moment. The intense x-ray and EUV emission disturbed the ionosphere, and High Frequency (HF) communications were degraded mainly over Latin-America, the eastern portion of the Pacific, and parts of Antarctica. This is shown in NOAA's D-RAP map underneath. PECASUS has issued a HF COM advisory for the international aviation. The event was also a Tenflare, with the solar radio flux up 230 sfu above the pre-event values.


All in all, based on the currently available data, this was a flare that was very similar to the X1.2 flare from 6 January produced by NOAA 3182. That region has quieted down somewhat. Another region, NOAA 3181, has also been producing some M-class flares today. Further M-class flaring can be expected in the coming days, with another X-class flare possible from especially NOAA 3184. As this region gradually rotates further onto the solar disk, it will become more likely that any associated CME may have an earth-directed component.


Radio spectrogram by EOVSA (Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array) showing a portion of the associated Type III radio burst.



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