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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Page last updated on: Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another X-flare

Space Weather reports a giant sunspot AR2192 erupted again on Oct. 24 at 21:40 UT, producing a powerful X3-class solar flare 

Using a backyard solar telescope, Sergio Castillo of Corona, California, was monitoring the sunspot when it exploded, his picture can be seen on the Space Weather page.

"This flare was so intense that it almost shorted out my computer!
Well ... not really," says Castillo, "but I knew right away that it was an
X-class eruption."

A pulse of extreme UV radiation from the flare ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, causing a brief but strong blackout of HF radio communications over the dayside of Earth. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Coronagraph data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) suggest that the explosion did not hurl a significant CME toward our planet. (Interestinngly, none of the X-flares from this active region has so far produced a major CME.) As a result, Earth-effects may be limited to the radio blackout.

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