Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Enormous Sunspot Could Lead to Solar Flares

May 9, 2012 5:56pm

Enormous Sunspot Could Lead to Solar Flares

ht nasa solar flare 2nt 120509 main Enormous Sunspot Could Lead to Solar Flares
A massive sunspot has the potential to create solar flares like these, directed toward Earth. NASA image.

The largest sunspot seen in years has appeared on the surface of the sun, and scientists say it could generate solar flares whose effects are visible on Earth.
The sunspot cluster — shaped a little like the islands of Hawaii — is much larger than Earth. It measures 100,000 miles from end to end, while the diameter of the Earth is approximately 7,900 miles.
We on the surface are happily shielded by Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, but sensitive electronics have, on occasion, been fried by solar radiation.



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