Solar storm warning as planet-sized sunspot aimed DIRECTLY at Earth grows tenfold

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Scientists have warned that a sunspot, named AR3085 has swelled up to the size of a planet, and could soon launch a barrage of solar storms towards the Earth. Sunspots like this are a result of magnetic disruptions in the photosphere — the lowest layer of the sun’s atmosphere — with these disturbances exposing the cooler layers of the star underneath, thus appearing darker. 

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The AR3085 was only a tiny spot just a few days ago, but since then has ballooned to be ten times bigger, transforming into a pair of sunspots with cores that each measure nearly the diameter of Earth, according to SpaceWeather.com.

They also noted that a number of solar flares, which are powerful ejections of electromagnetic radiation launched from the Sun, were detected “crackling” around the spot. 

Fortunately, all of these were reported to be C-class solar flares, which are classified as weak, with barely noticeably effects on the Earth’s geomagnetic field,

Solar storms can have a number of effects, ranging from increased auroras in lower latitudes to entire satellites being brought down by more powerful blasts.

According to NASA, M class flares are stronger and are usually capable of causing radio blackouts, while X class flares can have devastating impacts, including widespread radio blackouts, knocking out satellites and even take down power grids.

Sunspots are large, dark regions on the surface of the Sun, consisting of powerful magnetic fields.

These regions form where bands of the Sun own magnetic field become tangle and taut, which then inhibits the flow of hit gas coming from the star’s interior, becoming cooler, and hence darker, according to Space.com.

The Sun is currently at the peak of its 11-year cycle, which is known as the solar maximum.

At this time, more sunspots emerge on its surface, and as a result, the number of space weather events like solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME) grows.

One of the most powerful forms of a solar storm, a coronal mass ejection (CME), occurs when the Sun belches out a cloud of charged particles and electromagnetic fluctuations.

The next solar maximum is expected to arrive in 2025, which will result in as many as 115 sunspots likely to appear on the sun’s surface during its days of peak activity.

Meanwhile, experts at Spaceweather.com warned that a “strange” new sunspot and opened up yesterday. 

They wrote: “A new sunspot (provisionally numbered AR3088) is emerging in the sun’s southern hemisphere. Its magnetic field is not normal.

“The sunspot, which didn’t even exist yesterday, is inset in this Solar Dynamics Observatory map of magnetic fields on the sun.

“According to Hale’s Law, the sunspot’s magnetic poles should be arranged +/-, that is, positive (+) on the left and negative (-) on the right. Instead, they are rotated 90 degrees; positive (+) is on top and negative (-) is on the bottom.

“This is a rare ‘perpendicular sunspot,’ with magnetic poles orthogonal to the sun’s equator. What’s going on?

“Something unusual may be happening to the sun’s magnetic dynamo beneath the surface where this sunspot is growing.

“We’ll keep an eye on AR3088 to see what happens next.”



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