2:30 PM | Sunspot region unleashes another solar flare (M-class) early Friday; possible northern lights tonight from X-flare that occurred earlier this week
The active sunspot region called AR1748 unleashed an M-class solar flare at 0858 UT on Friday, May 17th. While this is not the strongest flare that we’ve seen from AR1748, it actually may be the most geoeffective as this sunspot is now facing the Earth more directly than before, and the explosion might have hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth.
Another CME that was sent into space earlier this week by an X1-flare from the same sunspot region might deliver a glancing blow to the Earth’s magnetic field later tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be on alert for northern lights later tonight.