Category Archives: Our Sun

Long Duration Flare – 03-23-2014

LONG-DURATION FLARE: On March 23rd around 0330 UT, the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2014 became unstable and SOHO Flare 03-23-2014erupted, producing a long-duration C-class solar flare. Although C-class flares are considered to be minor, this one lasted so long (several hours) that it unleashed the energy-equivalent of a much stronger flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action.  Slow flares usually produce CMEs and this one was no exception. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded a bright cloud emerging from the blast site: movie. The CME appears to have an Earth-directed component that could reach our planet in ~3 days.


GOOD-BYE SUNSPOTS, HELLO RADIATION STORM?: Today, big sunspots AR1967 and AR1968 are rotating over the sun’s


western limb to begin a two-week transit of the sun’s farside. Ironically, this could result in elevated levels of radiation near Earth. At their current location, the two sunspots are well-connected to our planet by the sun’s spiraling magnetic field. Any flares today could funnel energetic particles in our direction, possibly triggering a radiation storm.