Scientists have discovered that a massive sunspot is turning towards Earth. This event could cause major strong flares, which can affect Global Positioning Systems (GPS) connectivity, power grids, satellites, and radio communications.
According to spaceweather.com, the sunspot AR2770 was noticed earlier last week and is likely to grow in size in the coming days.
The space weather forecasting website revealed that the huge amount of energy released by the sunspot, maybe up to 50,000 km in diameter, may result in solar flares.
This phenomenon is known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and it can affect electrical operations and facilities on our planet, as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Solar flares lead to "fluctuations of electrical currents in space and energize electrons and protons trapped in Earth's varying magnetic field".
A sunspot is a dark area on the sun and contains electrically charged gases producing areas of powerful magnetic forces. It is relatively cooler than the other parts of the star.
These charged gases constantly remain in motion, causing irregularities in this magnetic field. This process is called solar activity, whose levels don’t remain the same and varies from one solar cycle to another.
On the other hand, solar flares occur due to change in magnetic fields on the sunspots. They can also trigger auroras, intense light in the sky.
The clear picture of the sunspot was captured by an amateur astronomer Martin Wise from Trenton, Florida, using an 8-inch telescope with safe solar filters.