Solar storm danger: Sunspot ‘10 times wider than Earth’ could hurl out M-class solar flares
NASA has highlighted that a massive sunspot on the solar surface could hurl out M-class solar flares towards Earth. Know all about this solar storm danger.
Earth witnessed f X-class solar flares a number of times in the last few months. For the unaware, X-class solar flares are the most intense flares which can result in long-lasting radiation storms. In December, there were two instances of terrifying X-class solar flares hitting the planet, one of which caused a radio blackout in the polar regions for almost 3 days. Now, another solar storm danger has been highlighted as a massive sunspot on the solar surface could hurl out M-class solar flares towards Earth. Know all about this solar storm danger.
Solar storm danger
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sunspot AR3559 tripled in size over the weekend, and it is now 10 times wider than Earth! It has more than 12 dark cores. NASA says you need just eclipse glasses to view this gigantic dark spot on the Sun's surface! The same sunspot also has an unstable ‘beta-gamma' magnetic field, and harbours the energy to produce strong M-class solar flares and bring about a solar storm.
SpaceWeather report states, “A big sunspot is turning toward Earth. AR3559 tripled in size over the weekend, growing 10 times wider than Earth with more than a dozen dark cores. An unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic field makes AR3559 a threat for strong M-class solar flares.”
The solar flare danger was discovered using NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. If it impacts, a solar storm could be on the cards soon.
About the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory
The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) uses three very crucial instruments to collect data from various solar activities. They include the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) which takes high-resolution measurements of the longitudinal and vector magnetic field over the entire visible solar disk, Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) which measures the Sun's extreme ultraviolet irradiance, and Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) which provides continuous full-disk observations of the solar chromosphere and corona in seven extreme ultraviolet (EUV) channels.
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