Strong, Dramatic Full Moon in Leo Friday, plus Solar Flares

This pulled from Eric Francis site,, with my additional commentary.

This Friday Feb. 18 will be the Full Moon in Leo. An otherwise typical Full Moon, this one is opposite Mars conjunct Neptune in Aquarius. Something is working below the surface. Hopefully Eric will stop by a bit later to fill in some of the nuances of this transit, since a Full Moon of any type tends to be a polarizing event, pulling at our emotions.

[Mars/Neptune, and includes Chiron, all at about 28° Aquarius: Something below the surface, something strong and weird, and hard to make sense of, deceptive, and/or idealistic, deceptively idealistic; a wounding that needs healing, a sudden change that heals and/or wounds . . . In Aquarius: sign of the people, the collective, as has been so emphasized during this time. Leo Moon: autocratic ruler, entitled one. Leo vs. Aquarius: big drama featuring the one vs. the many; my way or our way. Resolution of this polarity: every person equally valued, everyone a ruler of his/her own heart. — Ann. K.]

Feb. 15 solar flare. Image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory / 

In other astro-news, is reporting that we’ve just experienced the first X-flare of the new solar cycle — the effects of which should reach us here on Earth just before that Full Moon.

They define a solar flare as “an explosion on the Sun that happens when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released. Flares produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays.” Flares come in three categories; X-level flares can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. Each category of flare has nine subdivisions; X2 (the level of yesterday’s flare) is therefore at the low end of the X category, but still big enough to affect life on Earth noticeably. According to the report:

Sunspot 1158 has unleashed the strongest solar flare in more than four years. The eruption, which peaked at 0156 UT on Feb. 15th, registered X2 on the Richter scale of solar flares. X-flares are the strongest type of solar flare, and this is the first such eruption of new Solar Cycle 24. In addition to flashing Earth with UV radiation, the explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) in our direction. The expanding cloud may be seen in this movie from NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft. Geomagnetic storms are possible when the CME arrives 36 to 48 hours hence. Stay tuned for updates.

The solar cycle (also called the solar magnetic activity cycle), is observed “by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the Sun,” according to Wikipedia. It is generally referred to as an approximately 11-year cycle, and is responsible for changing the levels of irradiation experienced on Earth. This in turn “drives variations in space weather and to some degree weather on the ground and possibly climate change.”

The glossary entry for solar flares on includes a graph for flares in July 2000, including one impressive category X6 flare nicknamed “the Bastille Day event.” Given the current atmosphere of revolution, reading that phrase today was an intriguing synchronicity to be sure.

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