Solar Storm: Weather chart shows global movement
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The sunspot, known as AR3038, doubled in size between Sunday and Monday night.
Now, it has turned to face the Earth, sparking fears that rapid solar winds could pelt towards the Blue Planet.
Experts at Spaceweather.com explained: “Yesterday, sunspot AR3038 was big.
“Today, it’s enormous. The fast-growing sunspot has doubled in size in only 24 hours.
“AR3038 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares, and it is directly facing Earth.”
Sunspots are dark regions on the Sun’s surface which can emit huge waves of radiation.
They form over areas of the Sun which have strong magnetic fields, and sometimes these tangled magnetic fields can spark a solar flare.
Solar flares are huge explosions from the surface of the Sun that give off intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation.
And if these come into contact with the Earth, they have the potential to cause chaos.
While the Earth-facing sunspot is yet to fire blast out a solar flare, there is still potential for an M-class flare to strike our planet.
This is the second-strongest type of solar flare, which are ranked A,B,C,M,X, lowest intensity to strongest.
If these do come directly in contact with the Earth’s magnetic sphere, it can cause major disruption, including radio blackouts and GPS signal failures, impacting communication and navigation systems down below.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) is now monitoring the sunspot incase a solar flare shoots towards Earth, but so far has not issued any warnings.
This is a breaking story. More to follow.
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