Sunspot changes Sun's vibration! Solar storm THREAT faces Earth, shows NASA's SOHO satellite

A massive sunspot has been detected on the farside of the Sun, that is large enough to change the way the Sun vibrates. Terrifyingly, it will soon face the Earth and can bring intense solar storms.

| Updated on: May 13 2023, 10:10 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
1/5 The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and is a 4.5 billion-year-old star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth, and without its energy, life as we know it could not exist here on our home planet. (Pixabay)
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2/5 The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it. The hottest part of the Sun is its core, where temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). The Sun’s activity, from its powerful eruptions to the steady stream of charged particles it sends out, influences the nature of space throughout the solar system. (NASA)
3/5 According to NASA, measuring a “day” on the Sun is complicated because of the way it rotates. It doesn't spin as a single, solid ball. This is because the Sun’s surface isn't solid like Earth's. Instead, the Sun is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma. This plasma rotates at different speeds on different parts of the Sun. At its equator, the Sun completes one rotation in 25 Earth days. At its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days. (NASA)
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4/5 Above the Sun’s surface are its thin chromosphere and the huge corona (crown). This is where we see features such as solar prominences, flares, and coronal mass ejections. The latter two are giant explosions of energy and particles that can reach Earth. (Pixabay)
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5/5 The Sun doesn’t have moons, but eight planets orbit it, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and perhaps three trillion comets and icy bodies. Also, several spacecraft are currently investigating the Sun including Parker Solar Probe, STEREO, Solar Orbiter, SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Hinode, IRIS, and Wind. (Pixabay)
Solar storm
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Know the solar storm threat that will come from a huge active sunspot revealed by NASA's SOHO satellite. (Pixabay)

After days of warnings for a G3-class geomagnetic storm, yesterday the coronal mass ejection (CME) finally hit the Earth and it turned out to be a dud. The impact only sparked minor G1-class storms briefly before being dispersed by the planet's magnetosphere. While the Earth was lucky in this encounter, soon a far bigger problem is coming its way. Researchers have spotted a huge sunspot group on the farside of the Sun and it is big enough to change the way the Sun vibrates. It is expected to face our planet the next week and is expected to be active. Concerns are that if it blasts a CME cloud towards us, we might suffer a severe solar storm event.

As per a report by, a massive sunspot group was revealed by Standford researchers. “The black blob is a sunspot group--big enough to alter the way the sun vibrates. Sunspots on this scale are usually active. The sun's rotation will turn it to face Earth late next week,” stated the report.

Giant sunspot threatens solar storm terror

If you are wondering how were researchers able to see what lies on the farside of the Sun, then you should know that they use a technique called helioseismology, which is the study of the Sun's interior using its own vibrations. These vibrations are caused by sound waves that travel through the Sun's interior.

As per the information, the sunspot will be facing the Earth next week. Between now and then, it is expected to release CME bursts, which can be picked by NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). This will give us a better understanding of how dangerous solar storms caused by the sunspot can really be.

In the worst-case scenario, we may see extremely strong storms. Such storms can do more damage than normal. They can damage small satellites, impact mobile networks, GPS, and even pose a threat to ground-based electronics and power grids by increasing the magnetic potential by huge amounts.

How NASA SOHO monitors the Sun

NASA's SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) is a satellite that was launched on December 2, 1995. It is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the sun, its atmosphere, and its effects on the solar system. Equipped with 12 scientific instruments, such as Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT), Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) and others, SOHO captures images of the sun's corona, measures the velocity and magnetic fields of the sun's surface, and observes the faint corona around the sun.

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First Published Date: 13 May, 10:09 IST