Monster sunspot that triggered solar storm on Earth returns with a bang

Monster sunspot, designated AR3664, responsible for the May 10 solar storm that triggered the strongest auroras on Earth in over five centuries is back. After disappearing from Earth’s view, the sunspot bigger than the planet has returned. The gargantuan sunspot announced its arrival with a massive solar flare and the image of the explosion was captured by amateur astronomer Michael Karrer.
The explosion was so big that it caused a deep shortwave radio blackout over East Asia and hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. A CME is one of the most powerful explosions from the Sun that travels at millions of kilometres per hour carrying plasma and material across the vacuum of space.
In the early weeks of May this year, Earth was slammed by a series of seven solar storms over the weekend that triggered strong auroras in several parts of the world.
Travelling at a staggering speed of 48 lakh kilometres per hour, the coronal mass ejections barrelled through space to slam into Earth. Starting May 10, the intense activity kicked off a stunning display of auroras in several parts of the world including India, the rarest of rare occurrences.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a rare severe geomagnetic storm warning when a solar outburst reached Earth on Friday afternoon, hours sooner than anticipated. The effects of the Northern Lights, which were prominently on display in Britain, lasted through the weekend and are possibly to go into the week.The auroras were so bright that it was visible even in India. Hanle in Ladakh witnessed a bright red flash in the skies as the charged particles from the Sun struck into Earth’s magnetic field.As the solar storm struck Earth, space agencies across the world scrambled to protect assets and astronauts in space. American space agency, Nasa, India’s Isro and SpaceX all had to adjust and course-correct their satellites to evade the stress.
With the sunspot returning to view, more activity and explosions are expected. Source: India Today

Be the first to comment

The Indian Panorama - Best Indian American Newspaper in New York & Dallas - Comments