At about 12:30 UTC this morning Sunspot 11476 flared at the M4.7 level thereafter remaining at an elevated emission state. As of just a few minutes ago it re-flared, peaking to M1.8. Last night’s read at Solen.info gave the area as 1100 SM and noted significant complexity at at least two points within the spot. This morning’s HMIB from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) platform has in the leading spot a section in which very high positive and negative magnetic gradients are immediately adjacent to each other with strong intermixing occurring. This is almost always a sign that further high-grade flaring will follow. Looks like the next 24 hours will be “interesting.”
Extreme close-up examination of the HMIB (magnetic gradient) of the leading segment of 11476 shows a very high gradient area of negative polarity strongly infiltrating an equally high magnitude area of positive polarity effectively placing the very strongest +/- zones in extremely close proximity to each other. This circumstance forms a basis for high magnitude (X-Class to high X-Class) solar flare activity. I expect the next 6-12 hours will tell the tale.
Update 00:10 AM EST Thursday, May 10th:
11476 is closing in on it’s maximum geoeffective position at this time. The current estimation for it to be along the polar meridian is about ~18 hrs. Concurrently, the spot has grown to over 1100 SM (in NOAA’s estimation, I’m sure that Solen.info will be listing a larger size at the midnight report) and maintains a complex magnetic configuration, even NOAA has acknowledged it as “BGD”, Beta-Gamma-Delta, the most complex type of solar magnetic configuration observed. In addition, the most recent HMIB from SDO, when closely examined, indicates that a segment of the lead spot has an area within it where an extremely strong gradient exists between positive and negative polarity fields. It therefore goes without saying that at this time a very high potential for X-flaring exists regardless of the official line given. (NOAA is abysmally slow at evaluating spot state.) Be assured, this spot merits significant attention – as much or more than any we’ve monitored thus far in this solar cycle. – J. Boston