UNITED STATES: In the following days, a new, fast-expanding sunspot slowly spinning towards Earth might intensify solar activity.
A sunspot known as AR3068 that had recently emerged from the sun’s southeast side and had tripled in size in just one day was described by the solar science website Spaceweather.com on Friday.
The strong magnetic fields of the sun produce sunspots, which are dark regions in the sun’s atmosphere. When these magnetic fields are sufficiently strong, they block some of the sun’s heat from entering its atmosphere, resulting in cooler and darker spots than the surrounding areas.
These comparatively cold regions can suddenly explode in a flourish of activity if the magnetic fields abruptly change because the magnetic fields that give rise to sunspots are powerful. Whenever this occurs, solar material is ejected into space as a coronal mass ejection, occasionally accompanied by a solar flare.
These eruptions can potentially interfere with Earth’s magnetic field and disrupt satellites, electrical grids, and radio communications if Earth is in its path.
Such occurrences are known as Geomagnetic storms. For the vast majority of individuals on the earth, mild ones might occur numerous times each month and are of no consequence. Still, they can be powerful enough to pose problems in certain professions, such as aviation.
The expanding sunspot AR3068 that is rotating into view may therefore be one to keep an eye on, according to Spaceweather.com, which states that the sunspot “merits attention as a prospective source of near-future activity.”
The solar cycle is a roughly 11-year period during which the sun’s sunspot count varies. A solar maximum happens when the number of sunspots peaks during that cycle, and a solar minimum occurs when it reaches its lowest point.
According to SWPC statistics, the sun is currently gearing up for the peak of its current solar cycle, which is predicted to occur sometime in the summer of 2025.
The number of sunspots in the current solar cycle appears to be higher than expected.