Sunday, March 04, 2012

Recent Solar Flare Activity March 04 2012

Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
SDF Number 064 Issued at 2200Z on 04 Mar 2012

IA.  Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from  03/2100Z
to 04/2100Z:  Solar activity was moderate.  A long duration M2/1N
flare was observed at 04/1052Z from Region 1429 (N18E55). 
Associated with the event was a 750 sfu Tenflare, Type IV Radio
Sweep, and a CME first visible in STEREO B COR 2 Imagery at 04/1210Z
(estimated speed of 840 km/s).  This region is classified as a Dkc
spot group with a Beta-Gamma-Delta magnetic configuration.  Further
analysis of the CME will be necessary as imagery becomes available,
however there appears to be a partial Earth-directed component.  A
glancing blow is possible from this event.

IB.  Solar Activity Forecast:  Solar activity is expected to be at
low to moderate levels with a slight chance for an X-class flare
from Region 1429.

IIA.  Geophysical Activity Summary 03/2100Z to 04/2100Z:
The geomagnetic field was at quiet to active conditions with an
isolated major storm period observed at high latitudes between
04/0900 - 1200Z.  Activity was due to extended periods of the
negative Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field near -5
nT.   The solar wind speed at the ACE spacecraft was relatively
steady near 380 km/s. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at
geosynchronous orbit reached high levels during the period.

IIB.  Geophysical Activity Forecast:  The geomagnetic field is
expected to be mostly quiet on day 1 (05 March).  Activity levels
are expected to increase on day 2 (06 March) due to a possible
glancing blow from todays CME associated with the M2/1N flare. 
Unsettled to active conditions are expected with isolated minor
storm periods possible.  Conditions are expected to settle down to
mostly quiet to unsettled conditions by day 3 (07 March) as the
effects of the CME wane.  There is a slight chance for a greater
than 10 MeV proton event from Region 1429 for the forecast period.

III.  Event Probabilities 05 Mar-07 Mar
Class M    60/60/60
Class X    15/15/15
Proton     15/15/15
PCAF       green

Long Duration M-Class Flare + CME
A long duration M2.0 Solar Flare peaked this morning at 10:45 UTC. The latest blast was again centered around Sunspot 1429 located in the northeast quadrant. A 46 minute long 10cm Radio Burst, also known as a TenFlare, was recorded as well and measured 750 pfu. A type IV Sweep Frequency Event resulted. Sometimes Long Duration flares can produce bright Coronal Mass Ejections. Stay Tuned to for the latest information. UPDATE: The latest Solar Flare did generate a Coronal Mass Ejection. The blast is most likely directed to the east, but a portion of the cloud may be Earth directed. 

Sunspot 1429 now a BGD group
A large and active Sunspot rotated into view off the northeast limb. This sunspot group was numbered 1429 on Saturday, and was responsible for several C-Class flares and now two moderate solar flares. Sunspot 1429 continues to expand and now has a Beta-Gamma-Delta magnetic configuration, the most powerful kind of classification. There will be an increasing chance for an X-Class event.

Solar Update
Solar activity continues at moderate levels. A long duration M2.0 Solar Flare peaked at 10:45 UTC this morning and was centered around large Sunspot 1429. This region continues to rotate into a more geo effective position, and the chances for Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejections will increase. There will remain a chance for further M-Class flares on Sunday and a smaller risk of an isolated X-Class flare. Another sunspot, now numbered 1430, is forming just to the west of 1429. Elsewhere, new Sunspot 1428 in the southern hemisphere is currently stable.