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NASA Uncovers Sunspot’s Explosive Potential: Brace for M-Class Solar Flares

NASA Uncovers Sunspot’s Explosive Potential: Brace for M-Class Solar Flares

Solar Flares Pose a Threat to Earth

Solar flares, like asteroids, can have significant impacts on Earth. These powerful eruptions of energy from the Sun can cause power and radio blackouts, create stunning auroras, expose people in airplanes to radiation, and even influence elections. Technological instruments are particularly vulnerable during solar flares, as cosmic rays released during these events can damage integrated circuits and alter stored data. With the solar maximum approaching, NASA has warned of the potential for a dangerous M-class solar flare to hit Earth.

Dangerous Sunspot AR3460

According to a report by spaceweather.com, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has identified a region on the Sun’s surface known as Sunspot AR3460. This sunspot has a “beta-gamma” magnetic field, which has the potential to trigger solar flares. There is a chance that M-class solar flares could be hurled out from this sunspot and impact Earth in the near future. The sunspot has been under observation for the past week due to the risk of increased solar activity. On October 11, Spaceweather reported that the sunspot exhibited multiple magnetic poles in close proximity, indicating a strong delta charge. This configuration could lead to magnetic reconnection and the release of a strong solar flare directed towards Earth.

About NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) plays a crucial role in monitoring solar activities. It utilizes three key instruments to collect data:
1. Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI): This instrument captures high-resolution measurements of the longitudinal and vector magnetic field across the entire visible solar disk.
2. Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE): EVE measures the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet irradiance, providing valuable insights into its variability.
3. Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA): AIA continuously observes the solar chromosphere and corona in seven extreme ultraviolet (EUV) channels, enabling comprehensive analysis of these regions.

By monitoring sunspots like AR3460 and analyzing the Sun’s magnetic field, NASA’s SDO helps scientists predict and understand solar flares, providing valuable information to protect our planet and technological infrastructure from their potential impacts.

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Akash Osta
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