A "massive archipelago of sunspots" may soon bombard our planet with solar flares A "massive archipelago of sunspots" may soon bombard our planet with solar flares

A "massive archipelago of sunspots" may soon bombard our planet with solar flares

A "massive archipelago of sunspots" may soon bombard our planet with solar flares

A region with the largest and densest number of sunspots has appeared for more than a decade, and is located on the near side of the Sun facing Earth.

These sunspots have become the source of many solar flares, which our planet may soon be within range of, which could lead to magnetic storms in the coming weeks.

The first group of sunspots, called AR3490, headed toward the near side of the sun on November 18, above the northeastern side of the star.

Spaceweather.com reported that after these sunspots, another group of spots, called AR3491, quickly appeared.

The appearance of the spots did not come as a surprise to scientists who were tracking “solar shocks” or ripples on the surface of the sun from the region. According to them, the sunspot area is so large that it "affects the vibration of the entire Sun."

Since their appearance, sunspot groups have split and generated new sunspots, including AR3492, AR3495, AR3496 and AR3497, creating a "solar archipelago of sunspots," according to astronomy news site EarthSky.

In total, the huge group of sunspots extends about 200,000 km (125,000 miles) in diameter, which is 15 times the area of ​​Earth, according to Spaceweather.com.

The sunspots have already released at least 16 C-class solar flares and 3 M-class solar flares, the third and second most powerful flare categories, respectively, in the past four days, according to SpaceWeatherLive.com.

Experts warn that more such flares may occur in the next few weeks, in addition to the possibility of Class X flares, which are the most powerful type of solar flares.

Impending flares may also trigger coronal mass ejections (CMEs), charged solar particles that can collide with Earth and trigger powerful geomagnetic storms, potentially causing radio outages and sparking vibrant aurora displays.

Astronomers have also observed several large rings of plasma, known as solar prominences, growing above some of the sunspots in the group.

The largest rings of plasma are more than 64,000 km (40,000 miles) above the surface, according to EarthSky, and could explode and launch into space at any moment, temporarily leaving behind massive “valleys of fire” on the surface of the sun.

At least three groups of sunspots have also appeared in the southern hemisphere of the sun in the past few days.

The appearance of sunspots is the latest sign that the sun is rapidly approaching the peak of its roughly 11-year solar cycle, known as solar maximum, which scientists now expect will begin next year.

During solar maximum, sunspots become more frequent and increase in size as the sun's magnetic fields intertwine.


Important warning about the continued expansion of the ozone hole!

About 36 years ago, experts agreed to ban the production of a harmful class of man-made chemicals known as CFCs.
At the time, research showed that CFCs depleted the ozone layer, which protects us from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.

But that may not be enough, as the ozone hole has been "remarkably large" over the past four years, scientists in New Zealand now reveal.

Experts analyzed monthly and daily changes in ozone, at different altitudes and latitudes inside the ozone hole, from 2004 to 2022.

They found that there is much less ozone at the center of the ozone hole than there was 19 years ago, despite the crackdown on CFC production that began in the 1980s.

As of September, the area of ​​the ozone hole was 26 million square kilometers, experts recently revealed, but they were not sure why it was so large.

A United Nations report earlier this year claimed that the ozone layer could be repaired by 2040 due to the ban on CFCs, but recent measurements of the hole have cast doubt on this issue.

The authors of the new study claim that there has been a 26% loss in the core of the ozone hole in the past 19 years, but again, they are not sure why.

The experts compared ozone hole measurements made since 2004 during the month of October (southern hemisphere spring).

“Our analysis ended with data from 2022, but as of today the 2023 ozone hole has already exceeded the size of the previous three years,” said study author Hannah Kesenich, from the University of Otago.

Ozone (O3), which causes smog that can damage the lungs, is a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small quantities.

At ground level, it can cause health problems for frail people with lung diseases such as asthma.

However, in Earth's atmosphere, in the stratosphere, ozone is actually beneficial while absorbing almost all of the sun's harmful ultraviolet light.

Without the ozone layer, there would be sharp increases in solar ultraviolet radiation, which would damage our DNA and make skin cancer more common.

Therefore, the presence of this hole in the ozone layer increases the amount of ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface, and the larger the hole, the more we are exposed to it.

The hole was created by the release of man-made chemicals, particularly CFCs, into the atmosphere.

This discovery led to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to halt the production of CFCs, which was signed in December 1987.

But the fact that the hole is still expanding without the influence of CFCs is a cause for concern, and may have been overlooked.

The results indicate that “changes in the Southern Hemisphere’s atmosphere” contribute to the persistence of the Antarctic ozone hole.

These changes could be related to the polar vortex, an atmospheric circulation pattern located high above the poles, in the stratosphere. Because it lets in ultraviolet rays, the ozone hole could have a detrimental effect on the climate of Antarctica, and thus the entire planet.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications .


Moscow records the lowest average atmospheric pressure in 50 years!

On Friday morning, Moscow recorded a record for low atmospheric pressure, breaking the record that was recorded in this area 50 years ago.
Regarding the issue, the chief specialist at the Russian Phobos Meteorological Center, Yevgeny Tishkovets, said: “Moscow on Friday morning, November 24, recorded a record for the rate of decrease in atmospheric pressure, and the record for decrease in atmospheric pressure that was recorded in the city 50 years ago was broken.”

He added: “Due to the approaching center of the North Atlantic hurricane, the readings of atmospheric pressure measuring devices continue to decline in Moscow, and on Friday morning, at exactly 06:00, an average air pressure equivalent to 719.7 mm Hg was recorded. The previous record for low air pressure was recorded in Moscow in 1973, and at that time it reached 722.3 mmHg. Today this number has been broken.”

The meteorologist pointed out that "atmospheric pressure levels will continue to decrease during the coming hours today, reaching 717 mm Hg, that is, 30 units less than the normal rate."

The specialist explained that when atmospheric pressure rates decrease, the level of oxygen concentration in the air decreases, which leads to a decrease in oxygen supply to the blood vessels and tissues in the body, which may negatively affect people who suffer from low blood pressure problems.

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