Active region 1158 let loose with an X2.2 flare at 0153 UT or 8:50 pm ET on February 15, 2011, the largest flare since Dec. 2006 and the biggest flare so far in Solar Cycle 24. Active Region 1158 is in the southern hemisphere, which has been lagging the north in activity but now leads in big flares!
The still shows a close-up of the flaring region taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory at 0153 UT in the extreme ultraviolet wavelength of 193 Angstroms. Much of the vertical line in the image and the staggered lines making an â€œXâ€ are caused by the bright flash overwhelming our imager. A coronal mass ejection was also associated with the flare. The movie shows activity over about two days (Feb. 13-15, 2011). Since the active region was facing Earth, there is a good chance that Earth will receive some effects from these events, with some possibility of mid-latitude aurora Feb. 16 - 18.
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