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A Giant Sunspot Doubled in Size in 24 Hours, And It's Pointing Right at Earth - ScienceAlert

A Giant Sunspot Doubled in Size in 24 Hours, And It's Pointing Right at Earth - ScienceAlert

A Giant Sunspot Doubled in Size in 24 Hours, And It's Pointing Right at Earth - ScienceAlert
Jun 24, 2022 1 min, 0 secs

The sunspot, called AR3038, grew to 2.5 times Earth's size – making the sunspot roughly 19,800 miles, or 31,900 kilometers, in diameter – from Sunday (June 19) to Monday night (June 20), according to Spaceweather.com, a website that tracks news about solar flares, geomagnetic storms and other cosmic weather events. .

The resulting release of energy launches bursts of radiation called solar flares and generates explosive jets of solar material called coronal mass ejections (CMEs). .

"AR3038 has an unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class [medium-sized] solar flares, and it is directly facing Earth.".

M-class flares are the most common type of solar flare.

Although the Sun does occasionally release enormous X-class flares (the strongest category) with the potential to cause high-frequency blackouts on the side of Earth that's exposed to the flare, these flares are observed much less often than smaller solar eruptions.

On planets that have strong magnetic fields, like Earth, the barrage of solar debris from CMEs is absorbed by our magnetic field, triggering powerful geomagnetic storms.

The movements of these electrically charged particles can disrupt our planet's magnetic field powerfully enough to send satellites tumbling to Earth, Live Science previously reported, and scientists have warned that extreme geomagnetic storms could even cripple the internet.


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