Sunspot THREE TIMES the size of Earth is facing directly at our planet

A dark sunspot that is facing directly toward Earth doubled in size in just a 24-hour period and could possibly send out medium-class flares in the near future.

Tony Phillips, the author of SpaceWeather.com, wrote on Wednesday: ‘Yesterday, sunspot AR3038 was big. Today, it’s enormous.’

And it is now said to measure three times the size of Earth.

Not only is sunspot AR30398 looking directly at our planet, but it also has an unstable beta-gamma magnetic field that is harboring enough energy to cause brief radio blackouts.

A dark sunspot that is facing directly toward Earth doubled in size in just a 24-hour period and could possibly send out medium-class flares in the near future. Tony Phillips, the author of SpaceWeather.com , wrote on Wednesday: ‘Yesterday, sunspot AR3038 was big. Today, it’s enormous’

Sunspots are dark regions of the Sun where it is cooler than other parts of the surface. Solar flares originate close to these dark areas of the star.

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections come from these regions, and when they explode in the direction of Earth, they can result in geomagnetic storms that produce beautiful auroras, as well as pose a danger to power grids and satellites.

AR3038 is without a doubt a large sunspot – a beachgoer in New Jerseys spotted it on the sun as it rose over the Atlantic Ocean.

A pair of massive sunspot swarms, some large enough to devour the Earth whole, appeared on the surface of the sun in April.

Not only is sunspot AR30398 looking directly at our planet, but it also has an unstable beta-gamma magnetic field that is harboring enough energy to cause brief radio blackouts

Not only is sunspot AR30398 looking directly at our planet, but it also has an unstable beta-gamma magnetic field that is harboring enough energy to cause brief radio blackouts

Dubbed AR2993 and AR2994, the two active regions sent scientists into an overdrive in order to learn if Earth should brace for powerful solar flares – but thankfully none were sent our way.

However, in early April Earth narrowly missed a plasma ejection, linked to a sunspot group that had appeared earlier on the star.

The recent increase in activity from the Sun is the result of it coming towards the most active phase in its 11-year solar cycle – hitting peak activity in 2024.

Studies have shown that the level of solar activity currently happening, is about the same as it was 11 years ago, during the same point in the last cycle.

‘I’m sure we shall see larger active regions over the next few years,’ according to solar physicist Dean Pesnell from NASA, speaking to Live Science.

‘Active regions 2993 and 2994 are middling in size and don’t represent the best that Solar Cycle 25 can produce.’

Jan Janssens from the Solar-Terrestrial Center of Excellence in Brussels, told Live Science multiple solar flares and coronal mass ejections are ‘typical at this stage of the solar cycle,’ with some heading towards, but missing the Earth.

A pair of massive sunspot swarms, some large enough to devour the Earth whole, appeared on the surface of the sun in April

A pair of massive sunspot swarms, some large enough to devour the Earth whole, appeared on the surface of the sun in April

‘As the solar cycle is heading for its maximum, more and more complex sunspot regions become visible, which can then produce solar flares.’

Solar flares have letter classes, with A-class the weakest, then B, C, and M-class, with X-class the strongest of the categories. They are then given a size – small numbers represent smaller flares within the class.

An X1 flare is ten times less powerful than the most intense solar flare possible, and the most powerful on record, from 2003, overwhelmed sensors as an X28.

The Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that Sunday’s flare caused a blackout at certain radio frequencies below 30 MHz in Southeast Asia and Australia.

Despite the flare causing a radio blackout, the plasma from the flare won’t hit Earth.

‘Flares and coronal mass ejections will become more frequent over the next few years, raising the hazard level of solar activity,’ Pesnell told Live Science.

There hasn’t been an extreme CME or Solar Flare in the modern world – the last was the Carrington Event in 1859 – creating a geomagnetic storm with aurora appearing globally, as well as fires at telegraph stations.

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