Giant Sunspot on the Horizon
AR1654 is getting bigger as it turns toward Earth. Not only is the chance of flares increasing, but also the chance of an Earth-directed eruption.This could be the sunspot that breaks the recent lengthy spell of calm space weather around our planet.
It is all about potential. While a killer solar storm could catch us unawares in the quietest part of the solar cycle, the odds of it happening greatly increase:
- at the height of the solar cycle (more sunspots to erupt)
- from clusters of sunspots
- from large sunspots
If sunspot AR1654 sends an X-flare our way, it will still most likely be one of the hundreds per century that do us and our satellites no harm at all. But because it is a large sunspot, pointing our way soon, then the potential for the next Carrington Event is there. While scientists say that the odds are something like 8% (or much less) per solar cycle peak, readers of this blog should be smart enough to add in the potential that the Mayan calendar was pointing to major natural event.
Keep an eye on SpaceWeather.com (even better, sign up for their email and SMS alerts), and if there is an X-Flare greater than say 15 (which is 15x more powerful than a 1) – activate your escape/survival plans.