reports on a big solar flare today:

After days of suspenseful quiet, huge sunspot AR2665 finally erupted on July 14th (0209 UT), producing a powerful and long-lasting M2-class solar flare. Extreme ultraviolet telescopes onboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast:

This image combines three images with different temperatures. Each image is assigned a color, and they are not the same used in the single images. Here AIA 094 is red, AIA 335 is green, and AIA 193 is blue. Each highlights a different part of the corona.

The two hour long outburst of X-rays and high energy particles led to lots of ionization in earth’s upper atmosphere:

Shortwave radio blackouts were subsequently observed over the Pacific Ocean and especially around the Arctic Circle.   This map from NOAA shows the affected geographic regions.

See these space weather reports from NOAA for more about the effects of the solar flare on earth:

The GIF below of images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite shows a subsequent coronal mass ejection (CME). The plasma of ionized protons and electrons will reach earth by July 16 and should generate some vivid auroras: G2 (Moderate) Geomagnetic Storm Watch Issued – Valid for 16-17 Jul 2017 | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center –