A sunspot 9 times larger than Earth releases the strongest glow in 6 years A sunspot 9 times larger than Earth releases the strongest glow in 6 years

A sunspot 9 times larger than Earth releases the strongest glow in 6 years

A sunspot 9 times larger than Earth releases the strongest glow in 6 years

The giant, highly active sunspot that unleashed three X-class solar flares in less than 24 hours last week has continued to expand and is now pointed directly at Earth.

Spaceweather.com reported that a period of cautious calm indicates that the growing dark spot could be preparing for another massive eruption, which could collide with our planet with potentially devastating results.

Sunspot AR3590 first appeared on the side of the sun facing Earth on February 18, and quickly swelled into a dark patch about 9.5 times wider than our planet.

On February 21, AR3590 ejected a pair of X-class flares, the most powerful type of solar flare, with magnitudes of X1.7 and X1.8.

Then on February 22, the same sunspot unleashed a massive flare of magnitude X6.3, the most powerful solar flare in more than six years.

If any of these large explosions fired a coronal mass ejection (CME) — clouds of magnetized plasma that can collide with our planet's magnetic shield as they fly through space — toward Earth, it could cause severe geomagnetic storms, which are disturbances in the magnetic field. It can allow solar radiation to impact Earth's infrastructure, trigger spectacular aurora displays and cause satellites to fall to Earth.

Since the triple X-class flares, sunspot AR3590 has continued to grow, nearly doubling in size. It is now one of the largest sunspots in the current solar cycle, which began in 2019, Spaceweather.com reported.

Experts predicted that the sunspot's unstable magnetic field "harbors energy for more Formerly Spaceweather.com. This suggests that sunspots could store energy for another massive explosion.

Spaceweather.com reported that the giant sunspot is currently heading "almost directly" toward Earth, so if another large

AR3590 is now about 60% the size of the giant sunspot that generated the Carrington Event, a massive solar storm in 1859 that is believed to be the largest solar storm in recorded history to hit Earth.

If a Carrington-level flare triggered a coronal mass ejection on Earth today, it could cause long-term disruption to global power grids and wipe out most spacecraft in Earth orbit, resulting in trillions of dollars in damage.

But AR3590 is not large enough to trigger this type of solar storm.

The recent increase in the size and frequency of sunspots, as well as more frequent solar storms, are clear signs that the Sun is rapidly approaching the peak of its activity in its roughly 11-year cycle, known as solar maximum.


India is building its second airport to launch space rockets

India is building its second airport to launch space rockets

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that India is working on a project to construct the country's second airport for launching space rockets.

In a statement on the subject, the head of the organization said: “A foundation stone laying ceremony was recently held in the state of Tamil Nadu for the second airport for launching space missiles in India, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the ceremony.”

He added: "The construction work of the new airport is supposed to take approximately two years, and we have begun planning to launch the first light space rocket from this airport after it is ready."

According to available information, the cost of the new space airport project is estimated at approximately 9.5 billion rupees (about 115 million dollars).

In recent years, India has been working to significantly develop its national space program, as it launched a probe to study the sun, launched many satellites, and is also working to develop a new generation of space missiles.

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