Monday, March 3, 2014

NASA SDO: Giant sunspot making third rotation across surface of the sun

A massive and significantly strong sunspot is currently making its third pass across a “complex region” of the Sun, according to NASA.

Sunspots like the one currently being tracked by NASA and NOAA, are part of the active Sun regions which typically produce large solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

Sunspot AR1990 was previously labeled AR1967 while on its second rotation around the Sun, and AR1944, during its initial trip around the face of the Sun.

As previously reported by NASA, the largest solar flare of 2014 was unleashed by the Sun late last week.

The huge X Class solar flare erupted from sunspot AR1990, according to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

The agency’s spacecraft recorder captured the gigantic bursts of plasma from the coronal mass ejection – CME.

X Class solar flares are the strongest type of solar storms. The massive solar flare was not Earth-directed, so the power grid was not in jeopardy.

If the 4.9 X Class solar flare had been directed towards Earth, the CME could have likely prompted a significant geomagnetic storm.

During such a storm charged particles smash against the Earth’s magnetic field. The Sun is currently in the most active phase of its 11-year solar cycle.

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