I don't know a lot about this stuff but it does interest me. I have been following for a while and have couple questions.. Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28236632
1- so are you guys looking for an x-class here? let's say we were to have one..what would the implications be?
2- it seems that x-class flares are not too uncommon so what is the hype?
Thanks for your interest and inquiries...
The second question first....I'm not hyping anything. I have no idea why Drudge Report has a story on an M-flare w/no CME. Maybe he's been listening to the Suspicious Obfuscator's vids, hehe. We haven't had any noteworthy solar events of the "front page news" variety for some time. This is a passionate hobby of mine; it's good, clean fun, and educational, too.
Now the first question-we watch every kind of flare and other solar happenings. Active Region 1654 is one of the largest sunspot groups of the Solar Cycle 24. We haven't seen any X-flares for some months, so we're very excited at the possibility. Entire books have been written on the effects of X-Ray solar events and Coronal Mass Ejections, so I can't say too much at this time. In general, X-flares can cause radio blackouts, disrupt GPS, increase radiation exposure by flight crews and astronauts.
Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are a different animal altogether;a large number of effects on Earth range from: auroral displays to power grid failure; satellite outages; heart attacks and strokes; spacecraft damage; insanity and the end of comet Elenin. Keep in mind that extreme solar events can't be predicted, this is why we stay vigilant here.
Some good links for solar event education:
Perfect Storm- [link to spectrum.ieee.org
SunStorm!- [link to www.space.com
Marshall SFC Solar Physics- [link to solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov