GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: Minor (G1) to moderate (G2) geomagnetic storms are possible this weekend in response to two incoming CMEs. One CME was hurled into space by a magnetic filament eruption on Feb 15th, the other by an X2.2-class solar flare on Feb. 17th. Both storm clouds are expected to deliver glancing blows, mitigating their impact. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.
STRONG X2-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot AR3229 erupted on Feb. 17th (2016 UT), producing a strong X2.2-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the extreme ultraviolet pulse:
Ultraviolet and X-radiation ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere, causing a deep shortwave radio blackout over the Americas. Mariners, aviators and ham radio operators may have noticed loss of signal and other unusual propagation efftects at frequencies below 30 MHz for more than an hour after the flare. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text.
SOLAR RADIO BURST: Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico did not expect an X-flare yesterday, but he was perfectly positioned to observe it. "The sun was right in my radio telescope beam when the flare occured, and my spectrograph captured the full force of the resulting radio burst," says Ashcraft. Listen to the roar of static that emerged from his loudspeaker:
Click to listen, then take a look at the complete dynamic spectrum
This is a Type II solar radio burst. Shock waves from the flare rippled through the sun's atmosphere, creating plasma oscillations that emit shortwave energy. Briefly, the sun turned itself into a natural radio transmitter.
X Flare and Solar Storm Prediction
Feb 18, 2023