CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of X-class solar flares and an 80% chance of M-class solar flares today. The source would be active sunspot AR1748, which is turning toward Earth. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.
ANOTHER X-FLARE ON MAY 15: When the week began, the sun hadn't unleashed an X-flare all year long. In only two days, sunspot AR1748 has produced four. The latest X-flare from this active sunspot occured on May 15th at 0152 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash:
Although the sunspot is not directly facing Earth, this flare might have produced a CME with an Earth-directed component. We are waiting for coronagraph data from SOHO and the twin STEREO probes to check this possibility. Stay tuned for updates.
In summary, AR1748 has produced an X1.7-class flare (0217 UT on May 13), anX2.8-class flare (1609 UT on May 13), an X3.2-class flare (0117 UT on May 14), and an X1-class flare (0152 on May 15). These are the strongest flares of the year, and they signal a significant increase in solar activity.
As long time readers know, there is a link between human behavior and solar activity.
A Russian professor in the early 20th century A.L. Tchijevsky found that a study of history shows a biophysical response to both solar maximums and solar minimums. He called the response "human excitability".
Perhaps this is why the stock market seems to continue to reach for irrational new heights?
The question to ask is when will the euphoria evaporate?
Perhaps after this next series of X flares?