Flares have been predicted, sunspot AR2192 has complied. In the past 24 hours, the giant active region has produced two X-class solar flares: X3 (Oct. 24 @ 2140 UT) and X1 (Oct 25 @ 1709 UT). Using a backyard solar telescope, Sergio Castillo of Corona, California, was monitoring the sunspot on Oct. 24th when it exploded, and he snapped this picture:
© Sergio Castillo
"This flare was so intense that it almost shorted out my computer! Well ... not really," says Castillo, "but I knew right away that it was an X-class eruption."

Both X-flares produced brief but strong HF radio blackouts over the dayside of Earth. Communications were disturbed over a wide area for appeoximately one hour after the peak of each explosion. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Interestingly, none of the X-flares from this active region has so far produced a major CME. The latest eruptions on Oct. 24-25 appear to be no exception. As a result, Earth-effects may be limited to the radio blackouts. However, stay tuned for updates as analysts look more carefully at coronagraph data for signs of an incoming CME. Solar flare alerts: text, voice