A huge spot on the Sun has increased dramatically in size

(ORDO NEWS) — Spot AR3038 – today the largest on the Sun – has grown even stronger in a day and has become two and a half times the size of the Earth.

The Sun continues to approach the maximum of the current (25th since the beginning of observations) activity cycle, which is expected around 2025.

New spots appear on the star, and the largest of them – AR3038 – is increasing. Recently, it suddenly grew, exceeding 30,000 kilometers across, according to space weather monitoring portal Spaceweather.com .

Solar activity determines the movement of magnetic fields and streams of charged particles far around the star. This “space weather” can affect the performance of satellites and sometimes ground-based electronics and electrical devices.

Therefore, scientists are constantly monitoring what is happening on the Sun, primarily studying the behavior of dark spots on its surface.

Spots on the sun appear at the points of exit of magnetic field lines. They slow down the movement of hot plasma, resulting in areas of not so high temperature that look dark.

The number and activity of sunspots follows the 11-year cycle of solar activity: during periods of minima, they may not be at all, and at maxima, the number can reach tens or even hundreds.

Within a few days, weeks or months, they can “dissolve”, disappearing imperceptibly. However, this process can be accompanied by a sharp break and reconnection of the magnetic field lines, which leads to the appearance of powerful bursts of radiation and ejections of plasma streams into space. In a matter of days, they reach the vicinity of the Earth, where they can cause auroras and geomagnetic storms, malfunctions in electronics and electrical systems.

So far, the AR3038 spot, “directed” towards our planet, also poses such a threat. However, it is located just north of the solar equator and moves fairly quickly to the far side of the star, so that in a few more days it should completely disappear from view.

In the meantime – and very rapidly – the growth of the spot continues. “Yesterday AR3038 was big. Today it is huge, writes Spaceweather.com.

“This fast-growing patch doubled in size in just 24 hours.” Indeed, observations show that between June 20 and 21, the diameter of AR3038 increased to almost 32,000 kilometers, becoming two and a half times the diameter of the Earth.

However, scientists do not expect dangerous surprises from AR3038. According to them, the energy of this spot is at most enough for an M-class flare .

Such outbreaks are not too rare and do not pose a serious threat to objects on the Earth’s surface. The maximum that can be expected is temporary problems with radio communications in the circumpolar regions of the planet and, of course, spectacular auroras.


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