Our previous news about CME arriving Monday/Tuesday has changed. Nasa models still show CME arriving, but they don’t say how strong (or weak) they will be. NOAA have practically removed them entirely from their computer models. So it is likely the CME will be a miss or so weak it won’t even register.
Frustrating isn’t it.
If you want to know why these X class flares aren’t giving us a show (when they really should be giving us awesome shows), I’ll try to explain it.
Most of the big solar flares recently have been what’s known as impulsive. They are big flares yes, but they are very brief events, and there isn’t enough time to spit out tons of plasma that we as aurora watchers are depending on. Impulsive flares can produce CME’s, but they are usually pretty weak.
If you have a look at the X ray flux image on our solar activity page, this is monitoring flare activity on the sun. Notice the flares happening recently, they are quick spikes on the graph. Like this:
Now the sign of a good flare, is one that has a longer duration, so instead of the graph just spiking, the line on the graph will go up and then sideways. Like this:
That image is an example of what I would call a good flare. So when you are looking on the solar activity page to see if there has been any recent flares, you really want to see an image like that.
So, lets keep our fingers crossed for a good long duration solar flare soon.