X2 Solar Flare To Effect Earth Through Feb. 21st (at least)
Update, 15-Feb, BANG!
The strongest solar flare in 4 years was unleashed from sunspot region 1158 on February 15 as it fired off a X2.2 flare!
The ‘x-class’ is the highest scale in the rating system used to classify solar flares.
C (1 – 9) Small; with few noticeable consequences here on Earth
M (1 – 9) Medium; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions
X (1 – 9) Big; can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms
The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center has been very active while releasing reports and warnings regarding the recent flurry of activity.
Outlook For February 16-22
R1 (Minor) and R2 (Moderate), with possible R3 (Strong) Radio Blackouts are expected through 21 February.
The X2 flare was also associated with a large CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) which can be seen in the following image. It is startling to realize the size of the CME while comparing to the diameter of the sun within the white circle of the image.
The CME is expected to arrive at Earth as early as February 16, Wednesday, and may produce vivid Aurora displays, even at lower regions that normally do not see the Aurora.