Sunspot AR1618

A few days ago sunspot AR1618 started to act up. Now ten times wider than Earth, bubbling with plasma  and deciding how big a deal it’s going to make of it – NOAA predicts a 70% chance of M class flares, and 15 of X in the next 24 hours. Any eruption in the next 24 hours will be earth directed.

Solar wind is blowing at a good clip of over 400 Km/sec. At the very least this combination should bring some spectacular auroras.

My solar pondering is not without reason. The ” Carrington event” of 1859 and “Bastille Day event” in 2000 are evidence of why I keep my eye to the sky. If a solar flare equal to the Carrington flare hit earth today our power grid would certainly fail. Ponder life without power for days, weeks, or even months.

Photo of a M1.6 flare on Nov. 20 courtesy NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory