Active sunspot fires solar flares, CME toward Earth

Active sunspot fires solar flares, CME toward Earth

Summary: Four powerful solar flares and CMEs have erupted from a sunspot over the past few days, and one could affect us on late Friday.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • (Image: NASA/SDO)

    May 14 flare

    2013 is currently at the solar maximum, which is the most active part of the sun's 11-year cycle of solar flare activity.

    Solar flares erupt with tremendous heat, but don't worry; it dissipates before reaching Earth. But they can temporarily alter the upper atmosphere and create memorable disruptions. Your GPS could send you to the wrong location.

    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of the X1.2 class solar flare on May 14.

  • (Image: NASA/SDO)

    Four flares

    Starting at the top left and going clockwise, you can see the size of each of the four most recent solar flares.

  • (Image: NASA/SDO)

    X3.2-class flare

    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took these images of the same X3.2-class flare from that erupted on May 13. NASA described the images:

    "Starting in the upper left and going clockwise, the images show light in the 304-, 335-, 193-, and 131-angstrom wavelengths. By looking at the sun in different wavelengths, scientists can view solar material at different temperatures, and thus learn more about what causes flares."

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • I have seen some strange

    things that resulted from such solar flares. I have had a series of data corruptions in weather station data loggers from solar flares. All data corruptions were at the same time across a network of 23 crop weather stations along the Texas Gulf Coastal Plains.

    A good friend of mine was the GM of an FM Radio Station in Corpus Christi in 1991 when extreme solar flare activity was peaking. The station advertised an 800 phone number for listeners outside the local market to call into. During the peak solar flare period of several days the radio station began getting calls fro Atlanta Georgia cab drivers. The Atlanta Yellow Cab drivers all started tuning into the station and calling the 800 line to comment on how much they liked the format of the radio station. They got so many calls from Atlanta cab drivers that they started running promo commercials with the compliments from the cabies in Atlanta. Talk about Rockin the Gulf Coast!