The sun fired a plasma ball at Earth after a ‘dead’ sunspot exploded

Deepak Gupta April 12, 2022
Updated 2022/04/12 at 11:54 AM

The Sun, which is in its 25th cycle, shows up with a lot of activity and with repeated explosions of great magnitude hitting the Earth. These balls of plasma that reach our planet do their damage, as we saw recently when half a hundred Starlink satellites were destroyed.

Now, the “corpse” of a sunspot, which exploded on Monday (April 11), has triggered a mass ejection of material heading our way.

The sun shot at the Earth

Recently one of these coronal mass ejections exploded 49 satellites of the Starlink network, a SpaceX project. Despite being a "normal" activity of our star, the Sun in its 25th cycle appears to be much more active.

The explosion comes courtesy of a dead sunspot called AR2987, according to SpaceWeather.com. The sunspot explosion released loads of energy in the form of radiation, which also led to a coronal mass ejection (CME) - exploding balls of solar material - both of which could spur more intense northern lights into Earth's upper atmosphere. .

According to SpaceWeather, material in this EMC is likely to impact Earth on April 14.

Are "dead" sunspots dangerous?

the sunspots are dark regions on the surface of the star. They are caused by intense magnetic flux from the interior of the star. These spots are temporary and can last anywhere from hours to months.

According to Philip Judge, a solar physicist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) High Altitude Observatory, the idea of ​​a "dead" sunspot is more poetic than scientific. However, convection from the Sun pulls these spots apart, leaving magnetically disturbed chunks of silent solar surface in their wake.

Whatever AR2987's future, the sunspot has released a class C solar flame at 5:21 on Monday (April 11), universal time. Such flares occur when the plasma fields and magnetic fields above the sunspot give way under tension. So these explosions accelerate out of the Sun, because if they went in, they would encounter dense material.

Answering the question, in fact these explosions, as a rule, are not dangerous. Incidentally, Class C eruptions are quite common and rarely cause any direct impact on Earth. Sometimes, as in the current flare, solar flares can trigger coronal mass ejections, which are huge flares of plasma and magnetic fields from our star that travel into space at millions of kilometers per hour.

Class C solar flares rarely trigger EMCs, according to SpaceWeatherLiveand when they do, EMCs are typically slow and weak.

Flame image of the Sun captured by NASA

Image: A spectacular solar flare, as seen by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory at a wavelength of 193 Ångström.

Earth has a protective shield

When EMCs hit the magnetic field surrounding the Earth, charged particles within the ejection can travel along magnetic field lines emanating from the North and South poles and interact with gases in the atmosphere, releasing energy in the form of photons.

At that time, changing and dazzling curtains known as the aurora - the northern and southern lights are created.

During quiet times on the Sun's surface, a stream of particles known as the solar wind is enough to trigger aurora in the polar regions. During a large CME, the greater perturbation of the planet's magnetic field means that the aurora can appear over a much wider range.

as it was referredIn late March, a so-called cannibal EMC raced towards Earth, triggering aurora in Canada, northern US, and New Zealand.

The EMC released on Monday could produce a small geomagnetic storm (G1) on April 14, meaning there could be small impacts on satellite operations and weak fluctuations in the electrical grid, according to SpaceWeather.

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