Here it is! A comprehensive guide to some of the various aspects, phenomenon of Space Weather.
Solar Storms are produced when:
"The Sun undergoes a cyclical (~22 year) pattern of magnetic pole reversals observable in the frequency of sunspot activity. This pattern is comprised of two ~11 year solar cycles phases. In the first phase, the sun’s magnetic poles reverse polarity. In the second phase, the sun reverses the magnetic polarity again returning the poles back to their original polarity. Solar storm activity is strongly phase dependent and also very dependent on the position within the solar cycle."
Part 1: Solar Flares Defined
Solar Storms, Solar Flares originate from Sunspots. The Sunspot Number is way of measuring the Solar Activity and Total Solar Irradiance. An increase in the Monthly Observable Sunspot Number increases the likelihood of Solar Flares which are:
"magnetically driven explosions. Approximately 8 minutes after a Solar Flare occurs on the surface of the sun, a powerful burst of electromagnetic radiation in the form of X-ray, extreme ultraviolet rays, gamma ray radiation and radio burst arrives at Earth. The EUV rays heat the upper atmosphere, which causes the outer atmospheric shell to expand. The X-Rays strip electrons from the atoms in the ionosphere producing a sudden increase in total electron content."
The reoccurring 8 minute time period in Space Weather is interesting. Back to Solar Flares, which are classified by scientists according to their brightness in the X-Ray wavelength.
"The largest observed solar flare was the Carrington white light flare of September 1, 1859. The largest measured solar flare occurred on November 4, 2003 and was rated as an X45. Fortunately this flare only grazed Earth."
Solar Storms consist of three major components: solar flares, solar proton events (SPEs) and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Not all solar storms produce solar flares, SPEs, and CMEs; but the largest solar storms tend to.
S0 has been tracking the significance of coronal holes in predicting large quakes and the role of galactic cosmic rays can no longer be ignored. Today's news update goes into detail on the function, role of coronal holes in the uptick of large EQs:
Solar Flares are grouped into 5 categories: A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, M-Class and X-Class. Table 2 (above) shows the Intensity.