(ORDO NEWS) — Recently, on the night of December 20, the Sun produced a series of flares significant over the past few years, and the shock wave “split” the magnetosphere of our planet.
While scientists don’t exactly know the origin of the shock wave, they believe it originated from an ejection of highly magnetized, superheated gas emitted by the Sun.
Sunspot AR3165 is believed to have triggered a series of M-class (medium-sized) solar flares.
Our star is approaching its “solar maximum” that occurs once every 11 years, but the last few months it has been quite calm. Solar maximum is the period of greatest solar activity in the Sun’s solar cycle.
During this time, the Sun’s magnetic field becomes more unpredictable, and the number of sunspots and solar flares increases.
As a result of the release of energy, bursts of radiation, called solar eruptions, occur.
Plumes of solar material begin to move at millions of kilometers per hour, forming a giant combined wavefront that can cause geomagnetic storms on Earth.
This period also sees an increase in the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which can affect telecommunications and satellite systems and change the auroral potential.
The sun is more active than expected
Are we at solar maximum? Not yet, but almost. Scientists expect solar maximum, at which the number of sunspots reaches its peak, to occur in 2025.
Keep in mind that our star’s current solar cycle is predicted to be one of the strongest on record. NASA‘s Solar Dynamics Observatory has already detected flares in a dark area that is colder than the rest.
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