The largest solar flare of the current solar cycle 24 was just observed around region 2673. The massive event measuring X9.3 peaked at 12:02 UTC Wednesday. A Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 1969 km/s was recorded.
A bright, fast moving halo coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed leaving the sun following the event and does indeed have an Earth directed component. Because of the sunspots location now off center in the southwest quadrant, the bulk of the plasma cloud is traveling to the west. The Earth directed flank is still significant enough to almost make a geomagnetic storm a certainty by Friday. Sky watchers should be alert for visible aurora during the next several nights while we await another CME generated an M5.5 flare on Sept. 4. Stay tuned to SolarHam.com for the most up to date information.