SPECTACULAR FLARE ERUPTS ON SUN
Oct. 28, 2003 — As the sun continues to storm, a spectacular new flare erupted Tuesday. NOAA space weather forecasters categorized the flare, which occurred at 6:10 a.m. EST, as an X-17 with a full Coronal Mass Ejection or CME. The region producing this flare is 13 times larger than Earth. Forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., say that the flare caused a strong S-3 radiation event, on a scale of 1 to 5 on the NOAA space weather scales, and a severe R-4 radio blackout. Radiation storms can affect satellites and cause high frequency communication problems. An R-4 storm can affect high frequency radio blackouts for several hours on the sunlit side of the Earth. (Click here to view larger image from the SOHO spacecraft of the intense solar activity on the sun taken Oct. 27, 2003, at 9:24 a.m. EDT. Click here to view high resolution version, which is a large file. Click here to view latest images. Please credit “SOHO.”)
expect the fast moving blast from the sun to reach the Earth’s magnetic
field on Wednesday at about midday, producing predominately a severe G-4
geomagnetic storm with possible periods of extreme G-5 storming. The solar
radiation storm is also expected to continue at strong levels for the
next few days.
NOAA forecaster Bill Murtagh said this flare appears to be the second largest during this solar cycle. “This storm has a lot of similarities to the Bastille Day storm that occurred in July of 2000,” he said. That storm was also located near the center of the sun,and the associated coronal mass ejection also reached Earth very quickly. “The Bastille Day storm produced considerable disruption to both ground and space high-tech systems,” Murtagh said.
said the probability of another major flare occurring is high, and additional
geomagnetic and radiation storms are likely.