This huge sunspot heading towards Earth can be bad news


By: Tech Desk |

Updated: August 10, 2020 9:20:41 am


Solar spots are the result of changes in magnetic fields on the sun’s spots that cause a large explosion (source: NASA)
If you believe that the year 2020 is through its share of bad news, there is a massive sunspot on the Sun that will turn towards our planet, which can result in large strong flares. According to a reportpaceweather.com, The Sunset AR2770, which was cut earlier this week, is expected to grow in size. Some minor space flares have already been emitted by this particular sunspot, leading to nothing more than “slight waves of ionization to be waved through the Earth’s upper atmosphere”.

However, if this sunspot that can be up to 50,000 kilometers in diameter can release a huge amount of energy that will in turn lead to solar flares. These eruptions can cause solar current and storms. This phenomenon is called coronal mass ejection (CME). These flares can have a major impact on radio communications, global positioning system (GPS) connectivity, power grids, and affecting satellites.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CMEs can “activate the fluctuations of electric currents in space and electrons and protons trapped in the Earth’s varying magnetic fields”. The solar flares caused by these CMEs can also trigger intense light in the sky, known as the auroras.

What is sunspot?

A sunspot is a dark area on the sun that appears dark on the surface and is relatively cold compared to other parts. These sunspots contain electromagnetic gases that generate fields of powerful magnetic forces. The gases are constantly rising on our sun which causes irregularities in this ‘magnetic field’. These activities are also called ‘solar activity’. The levels of solar activity do not remain the same and vary from one solar cycle to another.

What is solar flare?

Solar flares are the result of changes in magnetic fields on the sun’s spots that cause a large explosion. These solar flares are often released into space and its radiation can disrupt the Earth’s radio communications. The energy of the solar flares explosion could be equivalent to a trillion ‘Little Boy’ atomic bombs that dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

ALSO READ | NASA sees strange shape of our solar system

Recently, scientists have developed a new model that can successfully predict seven of the Sun’s largest flares from the last solar cycle, out of a set of nine with the help of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

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