A Massive Sunspot That Could Unleash Significant Solar Flares Is Pointed Right at Us

A Massive Sunspot That Could Unleash Significant Solar Flares Is Pointed Right at Us

What's happening A central sunspot has grown dramatically in the past few days. Why it matters Sunspots can throw off powerful solar flares that disrupt radio communications on Earth and sometimes impact the power grid. Space weather watchers are keeping a close eye on a dark and volatile spot on the sun that's grown dramatically this week. Between Sunday and Monday, Sunspot AR3038 more than doubled in size, making it several times wider than Earth's diameter, and it's continued to expand in the past 48 hours, according to NASA heliophysicist C. Alex Young, writing at EarthSky. Sunspots are darkened, cooler areas on the sun's surface with unstable magnetic fields, and they can produce solar flares and coronal mass ejections of charged particles and plasma. These flares and ejections occasionally cause …
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