A major solar flare measuring X1.8 (R3-Strong Radio blackout) at its peak time erupted from Region 2242 (‘beta-gamma-delta’) at 00:28 UTC on December 20, 2014. The event started at 00:11 and ended at 00:55 UTC. A long duration 10cm radio burst lasting 52 minutes, with peak flux of 2300 sfu was also associated with the event. A 10cm radio burst indicates that the electromagnetic burst associated with a solar flare at the 10cm wavelength was double or greater than the initial 10cm radio background. This can be indicative of significant radio noise in association with a solar flare. This noise is generally short-lived but can cause interference for sensitive receivers including radar, GPS, and satellite communications.

The explosion also hurled a CME into space. It appears the most of ejected material is directed south of the ecliptic, however, further imagery is needed to determine if there is an Earth directed component. A Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 900 km/s was associated with the event. Type II emissions typically indicate a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is associated with a flare event.

Solar activity is expected to be at moderate (R1-R2/Minor-Moderate) levels for the next three days (December 20 – 22) as Regions 2241 and 2242 remain large and magnetically complex. A chance also exists for an isolated X-class event (R3-Strong) during the same period.

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