SPOTTED Sun could be the harbinger of extremely dangerous solar storm on Earth
Some photographers have reported witnessing a spotted Sun during sunrise and sunset. This could be a scary sign for the Earth and an indication of an extreme solar storm.
Ever since the start of the year 2023, the Earth has been continuously bombarded by solar storms. So far, not a single week has gone without one incident of solar particles hitting our atmosphere. We have seen multiple X-class solar flare eruptions, G3-class solar storms and super-charged CME clouds and solar winds wreaking havoc on our planet. And still, the worst is yet to come. That is what astronomers believe after many have detected a spotted Sun during sunrise in regions of higher altitudes. Why has the Sun turned spotted and why is it a sign of a terrifying solar storm approaching? Find out.
As per a report by SpaceWeather.com, it was revealed some astrophotographers, who have taken photos of the morning Sun, have seen a spotted pattern on it. The spots were later revealed to be two sunspots — AR3256 and AR3257. Now, sunspots are not unusual and the Sun often carries as many as 8-10 sunspots on its Earth-facing side. What is unusual is that these sunspots have grown large enough to be spotted without the need of a telescope.
The report stated, “Over the past two months, sunspot numbers have shot up to their highest values in nearly 10 years--a sign of the intensification of Solar Cycle 25. We're nowhere near the apex of the sunspot curve, however. Solar Max isn't expected until 2024 or 2025. This means sunrises (and sunsets) will become even more spotted in the years ahead”. And this is a troubling prediction.
Extreme solar storms can be frequent in near future
To put it simply, the larger a sunspot is, the more solar matter it can release into space once it explodes. And higher the amount of solar particles (also known as coronal mass ejections or CME) that interact with the upper atmosphere of the Earth, the more intense a solar storm will be. That means if the Sun gets infested with gigantic sunspots, it can very well blast us with the most terrifying G5-class solar storm.
G5-class solar storms are the most powerful geomagnetic events observed. These are so intense that they can burn down small satellites in the lower Earth orbit and damage sensitive instruments of the one's in the higher orbits. Not only that, but they can effectively block out all wireless communication including GPS, mobile networks, satellite communication and more. Even the ground-based infrastructure is not safe. These solar storms can damage the repeaters in under-sea internet cables and block internet connectivity. Power grids will also suffer fluctuations and can even suffer irreparable damage. Finally, some electronics which run on direct electricity or battery can also get damaged due to high voltage flux in the atmosphere. In short, the Earth could be sent to the dark ages in an instant.
However, just the presence of sunspots does not confirm the incoming of such solar storms. Some of these are harmless and never explode. But even a few going off could cause one of the worst solar storm events seen since 1859's Carrington event.
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