Website features the sound of a solar flare erupting

Want to know what a coronal mass ejection sounds like? has a recording made by New Mexico amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of a series radio bursts at 21 and 28 MHz that accompanied a powerful solar flare that erupted from the Sunspot AR1429 on Saturday, March 10.

The roaring sounds you hear are caused by shock waves plowing through the sun’s atmosphere in the aftermath of the explosion. “There is incredible complexity in the waveforms,” Ashcraft said on the website. “This is a recording of one of the most turbulent events in all of Nature!”

The flare, classified as an M8 event that will reach Earth on March 12 at 1803 UT that’s about 11:03 am), almost crossed the threshold to become a X-class eruption, the website said.

There are three categories of solar flares: X-class flares are big; they are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized; they can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth’s polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.

This was just the latest in a series of solar CMEs. One was launched from the sun on March 9 and is, according to the Goddard Space Weather Lab, set to arrive on March 11 at 0649 UT (+/- 7 hr). That’s 10:49 pm.

According to “this is not a particularly potent CME. Nevertheless, high-latitude geomagnetic storms are possible when it arrives.”