A once-tiny i’m all over this the sun’s surface grew on the weekend to how big is Earth, potentially threatening our world with radio blackout-causing solar flares and plasma eruptions which could trigger aurora displays.
Sunlight has been lively during the past couple of weeks, treating skywatchers at high latitudes and astronauts onboard the International Space Station to beautiful aurora displays. There might be more of these storms ahead, because the sunspot AR3085 grows and rotating toward Earth.
The sunspot is among six active regions currently observable on the disk of sunlight, but space weather forecasters aren’t too concerned about it, predicting low activity for another 24 hours with occasional mild solar flares which could possibly cause short-duration radio blackouts, in accordance with U.K. space weather forecaster Met Office (opens in new tab).
Met Office expects the reduced solar activity to keep within the next four days, with a little chance of a rise to moderate levels. A little coronal hole, an opening in the magnetic field lines in the sun’s upper atmosphere, the corona, may raise the flow of solar wind toward Earth, possibly resulting in turbulent geomagnetic conditions, which can make auroras visible farther from the poles.
Needless to say, the sunspot AR3085, which includes, in accordance with spaceweather.com, increased in proportions tenfold during the past two days, might fire a coronal mass ejection (CME) a burst of charged particles at Earth, triggering a geomagnetic storm later in the week. Currently, however, no such CME is heading our direction.
Tereza is really a London-based science and technology journalist, aspiring fiction writer and amateur gymnast. Originally from Prague, the Czech Republic, she spent the initial seven years of her career working as a reporter, script-writer and presenter for various TV programmes of the Czech Public Service Television. She later took a lifetime career break to pursue further education and added a Master’s in Science from the International Space University, France, to her Bachelor’s in Journalism and Master’s in Cultural Anthropology from Prague’s Charles University.She worked as a reporter at the Engineering and Technology magazine, freelanced for a variety of publications including Live Science, Space.com, Professional Engineering, Via Satellite and Space News and served as a maternity cover science editor at the European Space Agency.