Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Third X-class Flare in 24 Hours!

The Sun unleashed another X-class flare last night, the third in 24 hours. They have all come from the same active region, which is AR 11748 but the flare was at coordinates N15 E77. This X3.2 flare peaked at 0111 UTC on 14-May-2013 (9:11 pm ET on 13-May-2013). Here are some stills from AIA 1600 and 1700 and the HMI continuum. The 1600 image at upper left is from later in the flare (0200 UTC) and shows the loops in 1600, with a bridge moving toward the upper right of the frame.
The 1700 image at upper right is a little earlier (0148 UTC) but is the best time to see the wisps of coronal loops in this channel. There is a little wisp of light above the loops that is also seen in the 1600 passband on left.
The HMI continuum image at left (also at 0200 UTC) shows the sunspot that is producing these flares. The movies show that the sunspot is changing, the two small groups on the right merging and the elongated spot on the lower left expanding out to join them.
Great times ahead for this active region!