Solar News Highlights from 2001


Twisted magnetic fields above sunspot 9661 erupted this morning,
unleashing an X-class solar flare and hurling a coronal mass ejection
toward Earth. 

10/05/01 New HESSI Lithograph -

A new HESSI lithograph contains the HESSI mission and the Education and Pubic Outreach profile, as well as a new class activity titled Discover the Solar Cycle.
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9/24/01 Solar Flare -

A powerful X-class solar flare erupted Monday morning, Sept.24th. The explosion hurled a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) into space -- and it appears to be heading our way. The CME will likely sweep past Earth late Tuesday or (more likely) Wednesday and trigger geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers should prepare for Northern Lights during the nightsahead.

9/23/01 Weekend Auroras - 

An interplanetary shock wave buffeted Earth'smagnetosphere on Sept. 23rd, sparking a day-long geomagnetic storm at high latitudes. Visit to view pictures of the display.

8/25/01 Major Solar Flare - 

The most powerful solar flare since April erupted on the Sun today. The X5-class explosion hurled a bright coronal mass ejection into space and triggered a strong radio blackout on the sunlit side of Earth.

6/12/01 The Biggest Explosions in the Solar System-

NASA's HESSI spacecraft aims to unravel an explosive mystery: the origin of solar flares.

4/14/01 Powerful X-class Flares Continue to Erupt on Sun -  

One of the most powerful solar flares ever recorded (an X14-class explosion) erupted near sunspot group 9415 today,  climaxing a two-week spate of X-class flares from that active region.  The source of the explosion is near the Sun's western limb,   so the blast was directed mostly away from the Earth.  A moderate radiation storm is in progress.

4/10/01  Solar Flare Triggers Radio Blackouts 

A powerful X-class solar flare erupted Tuesday morning, triggering radio blackouts and a minor radiation storm.  The explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth.  Today's CME joins another already en route to our planet.  Forecasters estimate a 25% chance of severe geomagnetic activity at middle latitudes when the CMEs arrive late Wednesday or Thursday.  Sky watchers should be alert for auroras after sunset on Wednesday.


4/2/01 The Most Powerful Solar Flare Ever Recorded!

The most powerful flare ever recorded -- an X20-class event -- erupted near sunspot 9393 at 2150 UT on April 2nd.  The event was even stronger than a well-known flare in March 1989 that led to the collapse of a power grid in Quebec.  No such calamities are likely this time as the source of the explosion is near the Sun's west limb;  the bulk of the explosion was directed away from the Earth.


3/27/01 Solar Activity

In recent days the Boulder sunspot number has rocketed to 339,  its highest level since July 2000.  At least one large sunspot group has a complex magnetic field that could harbor energy for powerful solar flares.  Forecasters estimate a 20% chance of an x-class eruption during the next 24 hours.


Last updated 02/01/2010 © UC Regents