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Space Science

Friday's Solar Flare Twice As Energetic As Monday's; Earth Safe 39

The Bad Astronomer writes "The sunspot cluster that erupted in a solar flare and coronal mass ejection last Monday burst into life again on Friday, blasting out an X2 class solar flare, twice as energetic as the last one. This one was on the Sun's limb and was pointed away from us, so we're in no danger; all we got was a very minor radiation storm that's on the lowest ranking of such things. But it did put on quite a light show, which you can see in a video created with images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory."
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Friday's Solar Flare Twice As Energetic As Monday's; Earth Safe

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  • Everyone knows that the truly dangerous solar flare will happen in December. :-)

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @03:06PM (#38850987)
    Sometimes there is satellite damage from X2 flare, though the things are supposed to be designed to withstand them. More likely effects are communication disruptions. Last year, February 2011, Earth was hit with X2. We mostly survived 8D
  • We are not even yet at the predicted maximum of the solar cycle [noaa.gov]. Such coronal mass ejections will probably get more and more frequent until we get to the solar maximum. Now do not get me wrong, I like solar flares as much as anybody here, but we shouldn't really report bursts that miss Earth... or else, we are going to hear about them very often in the near future !
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Earth Safe"? Thanks, I was really worried. Now I can concentrate on the Greek Crisis.

  • Most of us slashdot readers are hidden safely away in our parent's basements.


  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:58AM (#38854459) Homepage Journal

    As a n00b to ham radio, and only a Technician Class (don't even have my callsign yet, just tested today), I look forward to doing some DXing [wikipedia.org] in the 6 meter band. The preferred band for international DX is usually 20 meters, but solar storms that actually hit us tend to push the maximum usable frequency [wikipedia.org] for skywave propagation upward in frequency (downward in wavelength). I've been hearing of people making 2000 mile contacts at 6 meters with 5 watts in the conditions from the last flare. Since I'm not licensed for the HF bands (I may soon go for the upgrade to General Class but I still won't have any HF gear), but DO currently have the ability to operate in the 6 meter band, I will have to wait for the right moment to try to reach out and QSL [wikipedia.org] someone.

  • Will this effect robotic missions currently flying such as Dawn and MSL and other missions?

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.