Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Huge spot appears on the sun – but no need to panic just yet

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A giant blob on the sun is growing larger and pointing toward Earth — but there’s nothing to worry about just yet.

Numerous news reports pointed to the growing site and suggested there could be cause for concern. It had grown dramatically – had doubled in size in 24 hours – and was capable of emitting a burst of intense radiation.

But the sunny weather is actually relatively relaxed. No major flares are expected from the sun, according to experts at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and none have been measured in recent days.

In fact, the organization’s “space weather conditions” update shows no notable activity at all. It tracks potential radio outages, solar radiation storms, and geomagnetic storms — and hasn’t observed any behavior notable enough to have an impact.

Concern about possible sunny weather is relatively high as the sun is in a particularly active part of its cycle. There is likely to be significant space weather in the coming years that could affect our electronic devices and communication technologies.

Some scientists have warned that we are ill-prepared for such an event and that the world should take more steps to avoid any possible danger.

This worry has led to a greater than usual focus on the sun, particularly things like sunspots. That meant the newly formed one, numbered AR3038, caused particular concern when it was spotted growing and facing the earth.

This in turn led to a series of worrying reports about the possibility of a “direct hit” on Earth, a “great solar storm” and a series of warnings.

But sunspots can also die on the sun’s surface without releasing any kind of radiation that could disturb Earth. And for now, there is no indication that the new location poses any threat to our planet.

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