Massive Sunspot Turning Towards Earth May Affect Electrical Systems

10 Aug, 2020 09:24 IST|Sakshi Post

A huge sunspot on the Sun is turning towards Earth and that may lead to intense solar flares. The sunspot AR2770 was observed earlier this week and is expected to rise in size in the coming days.

According to a space weather forecasting website, several small flares have had already been released by the sunspot while it was facing the earth. Such flares have caused "minor waves of ionization to spread through the upper Earth's atmosphere," but nothing significant yet.

The sunspot is a dark region on the sun that appears dark on the surface and comparatively cooler than the others. Such sunspots have electrically charged gasses that create regions with strong magnetic forces. The gasses on the sun move continuously and creates anomalies in this 'magnetic field.' Such activities are also called 'solar activities.'

Solar flares are caused due to the magnetic field variations on sunspots that result in a massive explosion. Such solar flares are frequently released into space, and their radiation can interrupt Earth's radio communications. The intensity of the solar flares explosion may be equal to the trillion 'Little Boy' atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Researchers have come up with a new model that can accurately predict seven of the Sun's biggest flares from the last solar cycle out of a total of nine with the aid of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

A clear picture of the AR2770 also surfaced, providing a clearer understanding of the new trend. It was shot by Martin Wise, an amateur astronomer from Trenton, Florida. The size of the "primary dark core" is around as large as Mars.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), intense solar storms can cause "electric current fluctuations in space and energise electrons and protons trapped in Earth's varying magnetic field." These type of incidents can have an impact on radio communications, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) connectivity, power grids, and satellites.

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