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Giant Sunspot Facing Earth Has Doubled In Size In Last 24 Hours

Shola Lee

| Last updated 

Giant Sunspot Facing Earth Has Doubled In Size In Last 24 Hours

As if the scorching hot weather wasn't already a cause for concern, a giant sunspot facing Earth has apparently doubled in size.

That's right, in the past 24 hours, Active Region 3038 on the sun has been pretty, well, active.

The news comes as areas around the world are experiencing unprecedented heat, with Iran recording one of the highest-ever temperatures this week.

A sun spot facing earth has doubled in size. Credit: Alamy
A sun spot facing earth has doubled in size. Credit: Alamy

While the news seems pretty unsettling, there's no need to full-on panic as according to the lead for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Forecast Office, Robert Steenburgh, the sunspot's growth is pretty standard. "This is what sunspots do," he explained. "Over time, generally, they'll grow. They go through stages, and then they decay."

While that's reassuring, some were concerned about solar flares. For anyone not sure of what a solar flare is, Steenburgh explains to USA Today: "I guess the easiest way to put it is that sunspots are regions of magnetic activity.

"You can think of it like the twisting of rubber bands. If you have a couple of rubber bands twisting around on your finger, they eventually get twisted too much, and they break. The difference with magnetic fields is that they reconnect. And when they reconnect, it's in that process that a flare is generated."

So, can Active Region 3038 cause flares?

Well, yes and no, as according to Steenburgh the spot 'does not have the complexity for the largest flares' but can produce smaller flares.

This means that even if the sunspot produces flares, it likely won't reach earth, which sounds like pretty good news if you ask us.

Still, even if the flares aren't reaching the earth, our planet is experiencing unprecedented heat.

Just this week Iran recorded one of the hottest temperatures ever. In Abadan, a staggering 126 F (52.2 C) was recorded by a weather reporting station, while other parts of Iran recorded highs of 122 F (50 C), as seen on AccuWeather.

To make matters worse, according to the UN, soaring temperatures aren't being taken seriously enough.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in April: "Some government and business leaders are saying one thing, but doing another. Simply put: They are lying. And the results will be catastrophic."

Featured Image Credit: NASA/Pixabay

Topics: News, Weather, Space

Shola Lee
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