SDAC Solar Image

SDAC

Aurora Borealis

Article 3 - How to check the intensity of a solar flare

HOW TO CAPTURE AND CHECK THE INTENSITY OF A SOLAR FLARE

I initially check the NOAA X-ray Flux graph and keep it open on the side of my PC screen this updates every few minutes so you can watch for the rapid upwards curve that heralds a solar flare. You can also keep the most relevant of the six GONG monitors open to check the location of the flare and the most active part of the disc whether it be a flare or prominence etc?

Once a flare has gone off the NOAA graph will give a rough indication of its magnitude. I have included an example below that shows what appears to be an M2-class event on the 3 June 2012. The precise magnitude may follow a few hours later after the NOAA duty forecaster has had a chance to check all the available instrumentation/data and posted it on the Edited event log. These are then posted on an edited events log and part of which is posted below with the precise intensity being highlighted in red text. This event on the 3 June 2012 was assigned an M3.3-class magnitude.

There is also a very useful Solarmonitor link to check the magnitude of solar flares.

images/stories/20120604_xray.gif

Now if you check the Edited Daily Log [part of 3 June 2012 log below] I have highlighted in red text the place where the flare is assigned anM3.3-class flare intensity level.

Event               start time end time                                                 Event magnitude
7360 +     1257   ////      1321  SAG  C   RSP  034-180   VI/1                  
7360       1257   ////      1305  SVI  C   RSP  047-180   III/1                 
7360 +     1259   1259      1259  SVI  G   RBR  245       160                   

7370 +     1507   ////      1513  SAG  C   RSP  025-180   III/2             1496
7370       1511   1516      1535  HOL  3   FLA  N16E38    SF      ERU       1496
7370 +     1513   1513      1513  SAG  G   RBR  245       220               1496

7380       1514   1515      1529  SVI  3   FLA  N19E38    SF                1496

7390       1537   1537      1540  HOL  3   FLA  S26W83    SF                    

7400 +     1609   ////      1610  SVI  C   RSP  040-082   III/1                 

7410 +     1748   1755      1757  G15  5   XRA  1-8A      M3.3    7.0E-03   1496
7410 +     1750   ////      1755  SAG  C   RSP  025-180   V/2               1496
7410 +     1751   1754      1755  SAG  G   RBR  245       13000             1496
7410 +     1751   1754      1755  SAG  G   RBR  410       25000             1496
7410 +     1752   1753      1754  SAG  G   RBR  2695      320               1496
7410 +     1752   1753      1754  SAG  G   RBR  4995      340               1496
7410 +     1752   1753      1754  SAG  G   RBR  8800      550               1496
7410 +     1752   1754      1755  SAG  G   RBR  610       500               1496
7410 +     1753   1753      1755  SAG  G   RBR  1415      210               1496
7410 +     1753   1753      1757  SAG  G   RBR  15400     320               1496
7410       1753   ////      1817  SAG  C   RSP  025-150   II/2    760       1496

Solar Flare Magnitudes: Here is a useful video guide by NASA

There are lots of solar flare captures on my website and so here is a chance to view them all in chronological order of magnitude starting with the largest at the top. They are all my own work except where others obtained the initial data there is a credit to the right hand side. The date and universal time is included in the file names of my movies. Further, here is a list of the largest solar flares ever recorded since 1976. Here are the excellent movies made by the TRACE team of big solar events.

I am presently moving my files onto my photobucket site so some links may temporarily not work.

X5.4 GONG and SDO

X3.6 Brigit Kremer

X2.1

X1.8 GONG

X1.8 GONG

X1.8 Post flare loops only

X1.4 GONG

X1.1 GONG

X1.1 GONG

M8.7 GONG

M8.4 GONG

M7.9 GONG

M7.7 Post flare loops only

M7.2

M6.7

M6.3 GONG

M6.1

M5.7 David Maidment

M5.6 GONG and the same event in high res by Viljo

M4.7

M4.0

M3.7

M2.7

M2.3

M2.2

M2.1

M2.1

M2.0

M2.0 Moreton wave

M1.9

M1.9

M1.9 Post flare loops

M1.9

M1.8

M1.8

M1.8

M1.8

M1.7

M1.5

M1.3 Post flare loops

M1.3

M1.2

M1.2

M1.2

M1.1 post flare loops

M1.1

C9.3

C8.4 GONG

C8.4 GONG

C8.4

C8.4

C8.4

C8,3

C8.2

C7.2 Post flare loops

C7.9 & C3.6 in CaK light

C7.2

C6.2

C6.2

C5.8 Post flare loops

C5.2 and surge prominence

C5.1

C5.0

C4.9 Post flare loops

C4.7

C4.7

C4.3

C4.2

C4.0

C3.7

C3.7

C3.5

C3.4

C3.2 GONG

C3.1

C3.0

C2.8

C2.8

C2.7 Post flare loop

C2.5

C2.4

C2.4

C2.4

C2.3

C2.2

C2.1

C2.0

C2.0

C1.9

C1.8

C1.7

C1.6

C1.5

C1.5

C1.4

C1.4

C1.3

C1.1

C1.1

B9.1

B8.2

B6.1

B5.7

 

Here is a link to view the record setting solar flares back to 1976.

Here I am attempting to locate any video, photos or scientific analysis links for them:

X?? 01/09/1859  [the largest flare/geomagnetic storm in recorded history]

X28+  [X45?] 04/11/2003 and another link

X20.0 02/04/2001

X20.0 16/08/1989

X17.2 28/10/2003

X17 07/09/2005

X15 06/03/1989

X15 11/07/1978

X14.4 15/04/2001

X13.0 24/04/1984

X13.0 19/10/1989

X12.9 15/12/1982

X12.0 06/06/1982

X12.0 01/06/1991

X12.0 04/06/1991

X12.0 06/06/1991

X12.0 11/06/1991

X12.0 15/06/1991

X10.1 17/12/1982

X10.1 20/05/1984

X10.0 29/10/2003

X10.0 25/01/1991

X10.0 09/06/1991

X9.8 09/07/1982

X9.8 29/09/1989

X9.4 22/03/1991

X9.4 06/11/1997

X9.3 24/05/1990

X9.0 05/12/2006

X9.0 06/11/1980

X9.0 02/11/1992

 

X1.5 21/04/2002 TRACE video


Here is a very useful source of reference

Here is a very useful link chronicling white light flares

 

Archive of the most severe geomagnetic storms