And now, according to Spaceweather.com, NOAA space weather forecasters estimate a 75 percent chance of AR1476 producing more M-class flares and a 20 percent chance that it will erupt with a more powerful X-class flare in the next 24 hours. Should a coronal mass ejection (CME) also be launched in our direction, we could be in for a rough ride.
Due to the active region's location on the solar disk, any CME emitted from this point will likely be "geo-effective," meaning that once a CME hits Earth, it could interact with our magnetosphere in such a way that a powerful geomagnetic storm could erupt. These storms generate powerful electrical currents through our atmosphere and produce fantastic auroral displays.
As the sun continues to pick up pace toward "solar maximum" expected in 2013, we can expect more events like this reminding us that far from being just an "average" star, our sun is an amazingly complex and immense magnetic dynamo with far-reaching consequences for the rest of the solar system.