|Image: The Weather Space Network.|
CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-class solar flares, and a 5% chance of X-flares today. The probable source would be big sunspot AR1654, which is squarely facing Earth. Sunspot AR1654 has a beta-gamma magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. - Space Weather.
SOLAR UPDATE: Solar activity is low with several low level C-Class flares detected around various locations across the visible solar disk. There will remain a chance for an isolated M-Class event around Sunspot 1654. A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is visible this morning in STEREO-Ahead COR2 imagery, however it does not look to be Earth directed at this time. A slow moving Coronal Mass Ejection (371 km/s) generated by a solar flare on Sunday morning, is expected to impact our geomagnetic field by January 17th. - Solar Ham.
MONSTER SUNSPOT AIMING OUR WAY: According to SpaceWeather.com, AR1654 "could be the sunspot that breaks the recent lengthy spell of calm space weather around our planet." The image above, captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory earlier today, shows the structure of AR1654 upon the Sun's photosphere—its light-emitting "surface" layer. Stretching many tens of thousands of miles, this magnetic solar blemish easily dwarfs our entire planet. And it's not just a prediction that this sunspot will unleash a flare—it already has. AR1654 came around the limb of the sun crackling with activity. Shortly after the probability of AR1654 releasing a flare was raised to 50% it did just that, letting loose with a burst of magnetic energy that was observed by SDO's multi-channel cameras. Peaking at 9:11 UTC, this M1-class flare won't have much more effect on Earth than perhaps some radio and GPS interference and maybe increased auroral activity. But AR1654 is still evolving and growing… and moving to face us. In the meantime, solar astronomers and observatories like SDO are keeping an ever-watchful eye on this magnetic monster. - PHYSORG.