The fireworks just keep on coming—The 6th X-Class Flare of 2023 exploded from the sun's surface yesterday and it came from departing sunspot AR3234. According to Spacewether.com the explosion also produced a coronal mass ejection (CME), shown here above. The bulk of the CME will clearly miss Earth.
After fantastic Auroras were seen earlier this week in the north and southern hemisphere, a Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on March 4th and 5th in response to an incoming CME, hurled into space by the M8.6-class flare of Feb. 28th, the CME is not heading directly for Earth.
The fantastic auroras seen around the world earlier in the week were possible after the solar wind hitting the Earth's magnetosphere was measured at 866km per second, (see graph below) this was the fastest recorded speed since October 2017 and caused dazzling auroras the northern and southern hemispheres for three nights with the light-show as far south as northern France in Europe.
Solar wind speed, credit NOAA
Since January 1st our sun has blasted off 6 massive X-Class flares and many more strong M-Class flares. It is only a matter of time before our sun receives a massive direct hit from a very powerful Coronal Mass Ejection or solar flare which could cause our planet irreversible damage.
Back in late January, the massive Sunspot AR3190, the biggest sunspot in years and visible to the naked eye failed to deliver, which is maybe a good thing. The impressive sunspot, more than 4 times larger than the earth did not eject the massive X-Class solar flare many astronomers were hoping for.
We keep getting lucky, but we won't always be lucky. . .