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Giant Sunspot AR3038 has Doubled in Size and is Pointed Right at Earth. Could be Auroras Coming - Universe Today

Giant Sunspot AR3038 has Doubled in Size and is Pointed Right at Earth. Could be Auroras Coming - Universe Today

Giant Sunspot AR3038 has Doubled in Size and is Pointed Right at Earth. Could be Auroras Coming - Universe Today
Jun 27, 2022 59 secs

Sunspots are typically no real reason to worry, even if they double in size overnight and grow to twice the size of the Earth itself.

That’s just what happened with Active Region 3038 (AR3038), a sunspot that happens to be facing Earth and could produce some minor solar flares.

While there’s no cause for concern, that does mean a potentially exciting event could happen – spectacular auroras.

Solar flares occur when the magnetic fields surrounding a sunspot break and rejoin in complex patterns, some of which cause flairs to be ejected out into the solar system.

X flares have their own grading system, and the most powerful solar flares, X20, happen less than once per 11-year solar cycle and typically do not face Earth.

More likely are M flares, which AR3038 has a 25% chance of developing before it dies down in size and scale, as sunspots typically do. .

However, it doesn’t look like any of those flares will be directed at Earth, as AR3038 has rotated back out of view and is no longer facing us.

USA Today – ‘No need to panic’ as sunspot with potential for solar flares doubles in size overnight, scientists say


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