Sunspot AR1515 Spits Out Large X1.1 Flare
Yesterday after 3 pm Alaska Time, a large, X class flare erupted from the sun.
The eruption from the very active sunspot group designated as AR1515 is just one of many that have been produced from that particular sunspot. AR1515 produced 14 of 18 sunspots observed yesterday. That particular sunspot group has been active all week.
AR1515 continues to be active today as well, although currently its eruptions are much smaller. It has produced 7 of the the 10 sunspots observed today.
The 118,681 mile-wide sunspot was captured on video by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO spacecraft, it can be viewed here.
The sunspot is the strongest observed this summer, but it pales in comparison to the twin sunspots observed in March of this year. That X5.4 flare erupted on March 6th and blasted a wave of plasma and charged particles towards earth at 4 million miles per hour. A second was observed later that measured X1.3.
The United State Weather Prediction Center warned that the sunspot has the potential to cause an area-wide blackout of high-frequency radio communications.
The sunspot is now moving out of the earth's view but still has the brief potential to create a earth-directed coronal mass ejection for a short time before it rotates over the sun's horizon.
The sun is now in the midst of its active stage of its 11-year cycle. This one being Solar Cycle 24.
The glancing blow by this sunspot should produce auroras on the nights of July 8th and 9th.
Another large sunspot is now moving into earth's view.