Sunspots AR1882 and AR1884 both have the energy field required to produce both M and X-class flares. Their position on the Earth side of the Sun means that coronal mass ejections coming from both would hit Earth.
AR1882 is just past optimum position for a square on, direct hit and AR1884 is approaching the optimum position. Depending on the strength of the flare, the size and speed of the issuing CME, both could cause major problems here on Earth.
NOAA estimates the chance of such an event within the next 24 hours at 50% for an M-class and 10% for an X-class.
A CME forecasted to hit Earth tonight could give rise to spectacular high latitude auroras such as this one photographed in Norway last night.Photograph: Bjørn Jørgensen of Tromsø
Todays sunspot number is 132.
A coronal hole is just starting to open up on the Earth side of the Sun.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!