Breaking a weeks-long spell of quiet, the sun erupted on June 10th, producing not one but two X-class solar flares.

Doublexflares

DOUBLE X-FLARE: Breaking a weeks-long spell of quiet, the sun erupted on June 10th, producing not one but two X-class solar flares. The source is a new sunspot just emerging over the sun’s southeastern limb. This active region is not squarely facing our planet. However, it will become increasingly geoeffective as it turns toward Earth in the days ahead. Check http://spaceweather.com for details and updates.

X-rays and UV radiation from the double flare created a wave of ionization in Earth’s upper atmosphere, altering the normal propagation of radio transmissions over Europe. Rob Stammes recorded the sudden ionospheric disturbance (SID) from his laboratory in Lofoton, Norway: data. Preliminary coronagraph images from NASA’s STEREO probes show a bright CME emerging from the blast site, traveling mostly away from the sun-Earth line. No strong impacts are expected.

Before today’s double-eruption, forecasters had been keeping a wary eye on sunspot complex AR2080/AR2085. Almost directly-facing Earth, those two sunspots have ‘delta-class’ magnetic fields that harbor energy for X-flares. The emergence of sunspot AR2087 on the southeastern limb adds another potent source to the mix. Solar activity is high, and likely to remain so in the days ahead. Solar flare alerts:textvoice

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