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

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

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The giant sunspot swells to twice the size of the Earth, doubles in diameter in 24 hours, and is aimed at us.

According to the Spaceweather.com website, the sunspot, called AR3038, has grown 2.5 times the size of the Earth, with a diameter of about 19,800 miles (31,900 kilometers). Track news about solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and other space weather events.

Sunspots are dark spots on the surface of the Sun, where the strong magnetic fields generated by the flow of charge from the Sun’s plasma connect before they suddenly snap. The resulting release of energy initiates a burst of radiation called a solar flare, producing an explosive jet of solar material called a coronal mass ejection (CME).

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“Yesterday the sunspot AR3038 was big. Today it’s huge. The fast-growing sunspot doubled in size in just 24 hours,” Spaceweather.com reported. “AR3038 has an unstable” beta-gamma “magnetic field with M-class energy. [medium-sized] Solar flares, and it faces the earth directly. “

When solar flares hit the Earth’s upper atmosphere, flare X-rays and ultraviolet rays ionize atoms and reflect high-frequency radio waves, causing so-called radio wave power outages. As the flare progresses, a radio outage occurs in an area of ​​the earth illuminated by the sun. Such power outages are classified as R1 to R5 in ascending order of severity.

Live Science previously reported that in April and May, two solar flares caused R3 blackouts in the Atlantic, Australia, and Asia. Solar flares travel at the speed of light, reaching an average distance of about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) in just eight minutes.

According to SpaceWeatherLive, if a sunspot facing the Earth is formed near the equator of the Sun (where the AR3038 is located), it usually takes less than two weeks to move across the Sun and is no longer facing the Earth. ..

Currently, AR3038 is just north of the Sun’s equator, just over half, so the Earth stays on the cross for a few more days.

Despite its surprisingly rapid growth, the giant sunspots aren’t as scary as they look. The European Space Agency said in a blog post that the flare it is most likely to produce is an M-class solar flare, which “generally causes short-term power outages that affect the Earth’s polar regions.” I am.

M-class flares are the most common type of solar flare. The Sun occasionally emits huge X-class flares (the strongest category), which can cause high-frequency power outages on the sides of the Earth exposed to flares, but these flares are much less than small solar flares. It is observed frequently.

Sunspots can also burp the material of the sun. On planets with strong magnetic fields, such as the Earth, the barrage of solar debris from the CME is absorbed by our magnetic field, causing a powerful geomagnetic storm.

During these storms, the Earth’s magnetic field is slightly compressed by waves of very energetic particles, dripping magnetic lines near the poles, agitating molecules in the atmosphere and releasing energy in the form of light. Creates a colorful aurora in the night sky.

The movement of these charged particles can strongly destroy and transmit the magnetic field of our planet. Live Science previously reported that satellites would roll to Earth, and scientists warned that extreme geomagnetic storms could even ruin the Internet.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the eruption of debris from the CME usually takes about 15-18 hours to reach Earth.

Astronomers have known that solar activity fluctuates in a cycle of approximately 11 years since 1775, but recently the sun has become more active than expected, and the appearance of sunspots predicted by NOAA has almost doubled. I did. Solar activity is projected to rise steadily over the next few years, reaching an overall maximum in 2025 and then declining again.

Scientists believe that the largest solar storm ever witnessed in modern history was the 1859 solar storm, which emitted about the same energy as 10 billion 1-megaton atomic bombs. After colliding with Earth, a powerful stream of solar particles lifted telegraph systems around the world, causing an aurora brighter than the full moon light to emerge far south of the Caribbean Sea.

If a similar event happens today, scientists warn, it causes trillions of dollars in damage and causes widespread power outages, just a 1989 solar storm releasing a billion tons of gas plume, Quebec, NASA reported that it caused a power outage across the Canadian state.

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This article was originally published by Live Science. Read the original article here.

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