Madrid, 23 years old (European press)
“Yesterday, AR3038 sunspot was big. Today it’s massive,” Tony Phillips, citing Space.com, wrote on Spaceweather.com on Wednesday (June 22).
“The fast-growing sunspot doubled in size in just 24 hours,” Phillips added, noting that the surrounding magnetic field has the potential to launch M-class solar flares toward our planet.
If sunspots set off a collective coronal ejection, or CME, of charged particles staring at our planet, it is likely that those particles would interact with our magnetic field and produce colorful lights in our atmosphere, known as the aurora borealis.
The sun has been particularly active this spring, sending out many Class M and Class X (strongest class) flares with activity growing in the normal 11-year sunspot cycle.
CMEs are generally harmless and may cause a short radio dimming along with colored aurora. However, in rare cases, coronal mass ejections can disrupt basic infrastructure such as satellites or power lines.
This is why both NASA and NOAA are watching the sun all the time. In addition, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe mission flies closer to the sun periodically to learn more about the origins of sunspots and better understand the space weather the sun creates.
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