A humongous sunspot that is changing the way the Sun vibrates has been spotted on the far-side of the Sun by scientists. Can it cook up a G5 class solar storm that can destroy Earth satellites? Find out.
A new development on the Sun has caused concern for solar scientists. A recent Helioseismic reading has revealed that a massive sunspot has emerged on the far-side of the Sun. According to data, this sunspot is so large that it is changing the way the Sun vibrates. To make matters worse, this sunspot is not far away from the Sun’s southeastern limb where the largest plasma loop ever recorded recently popped up. The sunspot will come into Earth’s view in the next few days, which means any eruption inside of it would hit the Earth directly. This can potentially send a G5-class solar storm towards the Earth. Read on to know the potential damage it can cause.
The emergence of the sunspot was reported by SpaceWeather.com. Reporting the incident on its website, it stated, “There is a sunspot on the far-side of the sun so big it is changing the way the sun vibrates. Helioseismic maps reveal its acoustic echo not far behind the sun’s southeastern limb. The sunspot will turn to face Earth a few days from now”. An image of the acoustic imagery was also shared by the publication. You can check it out here.
Solar storm scare builds up as a massive sunspot emerges on Sun
For the next couple of days, the risk for the Earth is low because if the sunspot erupts now, the resultant solar storm will entirely miss the Earth. But in a few days, this sunspot will be facing the Earth directly and that is when the risk factor also increases. While it is not sure how far the plasma loop is from the sunspot at the moment, given that it lies on the far-side of the Sun, there can be some serious consequences for Earth if the magnetic fields of both combine together.
If a solar flare goes off on the sunspot and it comes into contact with the plasma loop which has been described as “as long as the distance between the Earth and the Moon”, the cumulative solar radiation and magnetic fields are likely to create a G5 class solar storm. For the records, a G5 class solar storm struck the Earth in 1859 in an event known as the Carrington Event, where telegraph systems collapsed and power grids failed. With the advancement of modern technology, such a storm is very capable of heavily damaging the smaller satellites and even crashing them to the ground. Besides, widespread GPS failure, mobile network and internet disruptions, radio blackouts and power grid damages are also not out of the question. For now, scientists are making continuous observations to keep track of any further developments of the sunspot