Heads Up People. The Sun, our Star is acting up again.
Huge sunspot AR1476 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing something even stronger. The sunspot's 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field harbors energy for X-class flares, the most powerful kind. Radio operators are recording strong bursts of shortwave static from the sunspot as it turns toward Earth.Expect atmospherics to act up for a while, the Northern Lights should be spectacular for those who can view them. But be warned that radio signals will be experiencing problems for the next few days.
Earlier today, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico detected strong shortwave radio bursts coming from the sunspot. Click to hear the "solar static" that roared out of his loudspeaker.
"The strongest burst so far occured around 1631 UT on May 9th," reports Ashcraft. "I am observing at 28 MHz and 21.1 MHz. As I send this note I am hearing more bursting, indicating powerful magnetic dynamism within active region 1476."
Solar radio bursts are caused by plasma instabilities that ripple through the sun's atmosphere in the aftermath of powerful flares. With AR1476 poised for more eruptions, this 'radio activity' is likely to continue for days.