New sunspot sparks fears of terrifying solar storm on Earth

A new sunspot region has emerged on the Sun and it is moving towards the Earth-facing side of the Sun. It has already exploded once and researchers believe it can trigger a terrifying solar storm, or more, in the coming days.

| Updated on: Aug 16 2023, 15:57 IST
solar flare
Know all about the new sunspot that is threatening to unleash a solar storm on the Earth. (Pixabay)
solar flare
Know all about the new sunspot that is threatening to unleash a solar storm on the Earth. (Pixabay)

After a bit of a quiet period, the Sun is again gearing up for a period of high solar activity. In the last four days, the sunspots on the Earth-facing side of the Sun have been slowly disintegrating without exploding. But the same cannot be said about a new sunspot region, named AR3405, which will soon be on the Earth-facing side of the Sun. The sunspot has already exploded once and is considered to be brimming with M-class solar flares. Any of them can release a big coronal mass ejection (CME) and spark a major solar storm on Earth. The next few days are going to be concerning for our planet.

According to a report by, “A new sunspot (AR3405) is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb, and it appears to pose a threat for M-class solar flares. Just hours ago it produced a flare only percentage points below M-class. The same explosion hurled a bright CME into space”. It also revealed that NASA models have predicted that the CME will miss the Earth and hit Mercury instead.

solar storm scare for the Earth

The number of sunspots on the Sun is directly related to the intensity of the solar peak. The previous solar cycle was considered a mild one because the difference between the solar maximum and solar minimum (the period of the solar cycle when the activity of the Sun is at its lowest) was very low.

But with the new data on the number of sunspots in January 2023, it becomes apparent that this time, the Earth is in for an erratic solar maximum, and it can result in some violent solar storms in the coming months.

These eruptions, also known as solar flares, occur at the center of sunspots, which are the regions of unstable magnetic fields on the surface of the Sun. So, the higher the number of sunspots, the higher the chances of solar storms.

While it cannot be assessed how severe the peak of this solar cycle will be, a particularly violent phase was observed in 1859 when the Earth suffered its worst recorded solar storm in history. It is today known as the Carrington event. Such a solar storm today can cause terrifying damage. It can disrupt GPS, hamper mobile networks and the internet, and even cause a massive power outage by corrupting the power grids. No electronic device on Earth will be safe from such a solar storm.

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First Published Date: 16 Aug, 15:25 IST