Update #4: Kickstarter for the Mobile Observatory Project begins Saturday!!!

We Just had an M9 Solar Flare – It was on the limb and will not produce a geoeffective CME. Here is a video uploaded via Helioviewer: See the flare at 0:16 seconds.

Update #3: 4:30pm Eastern Time: That didn’t take long – KICKSTARTER has accepted the project.

All smiles right now.

Update #2: 3:25pm Eastern Time: FOTW-Style Chat, Project Update

Update #1: 7:35am Eastern Time

Morning Update: Tracking the geoeffectiveness of the latest M flare:
Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.08.18 AM

That is the radio blackout caused by the M flare (above). Underneath, see the time of catching the reading- it has to be during the flare or just afterwards.
Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.08.32 AM

The flare came from the Northwestern (departing) limb and the CME will not be geoeffective.
Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.19.57 AM

If I had waited just a few minutes…
Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.20.24 AM

The radio blackout is already subsided.
Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.21.12 AM

Sometimes they last longer if they are more-earth-directed, or they are X class flares, but the rapid-effect principal is a contrast to the days-long waits for CME arrival. The other effect of solar activity on earth is polar radiation bombardment, an influx of solar energetic particles, and these can also happen very very rapidly after certain flare events.

The practical effect of these ‘radio blackouts’ is just that. The high energy ionization in the upper atmosphere is causing critical frequency variation and problems with signal skipping. One would envision that Atlantic Command is well aware that a flare took place this morning.