A sunspot pointing toward Earth is likely to result in solar flares. Still, specialists told USA TODAY that it’s far from extraordinary and eased interest regarding how flares would influence the Blue Planet.

“Active Region 3038, or AR3038, has been growing over the past week, said Rob Steenburgh, acting lead of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Forecast Office. The sunspot’s size and growth rate are fairly normal, “he announced.

“This is what sunspots do,” he added. “Over time, generally, they’ll grow. They go through stages, and then they decay.”

According to NASA, sunspots seem to be darker because they are colder than the other portions of the sun’s surface. Sunspots are colder because they occur where powerful magnetic fields prevent heat within the sun from touching its surface.
Solar flares, which generally surge from sunspots, are “an explosion of energy caused by tangling, crossing or reorganizing of magnetic field lines near sunspots,” NASA explained.

“You can think of it like the twisting of rubber bands,” Steenburgh explained. “If you have a couple of rubber bands twisting around on your finger, they eventually get twisted too much, and they break. The difference with magnetic fields is that they reconnect. And when they reconnect, it’s in that process that a flare is generated.”

Steenburgh explained that the bigger and more complicated a sunspot comes to be, the greater the likelihood is for solar flares.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.


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