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3/26/2008

Solar Activity on the Rise

Breaking Earth News
SOLAR ACTIVITY ALERT: With little warning, three big sunspots have materialized and on March 25th one of them (989) unleashed an M2-class solar flare. This is the biggest flare of the year and it signals a significant increase in solar activity. "It's March Madness," says Greg Piepol who photographed the three sunspots from his backyard observatory in Rockville, Maryland:


LISTEN: During the M2-flare, radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft heard a curious "heaving sound" coming from the loudspeaker of his 21 MHz radio telescope in New Mexico: listen. "It was a Type II solar radio burst," he explains. The burst was generated by a shock wave at the leading edge of a CME produced by yesterday's explosion: movie.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of more M-flares during the next 24 hours.
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