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NASA Sees Monster Sunspot Growing Fast, Solar Storms Possible

Posted By yihan On February 21, 2013 @ 11:18 am In Featured Stories,Tile | Comments Disabled

Tariq Malik
SPACE.com [1]
Feb 21, 2013

A colossal sunspot on the surface of the sun is large enough to swallow six Earths whole, and could trigger solar flares this week, NASA scientists say.

The giant sunspot was captured on camera by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [2] as it swelled to enormous proportions over the 48 hours spanning Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 19 and 20). SDO is one of several spacecraft that constantly monitor the sun’s space weather environment.

“It has grown to over six Earth diameters across, but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere, not a flat disk,” wrote NASA spokeswoman Karen Fox, of the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in an image description.

The sunspot region is actually a collection of dark blemishes on the surface of the sun [3] that evolved rapidly over the last two days. Sunspots form from shifting magnetic fields at the sun’s surface, and are actually cooler than their surrounding solar material.

Full story here. [1]

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URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/nasa-sees-monster-sunspot-growing-fast-solar-storms-possible.html

URLs in this post:

[1] SPACE.com: http://www.space.com/19892-monster-sunspot-photo-solar-flares.html

[2] Solar Dynamics Observatory: http://www.space.com/19732-breathtaking-solar-footage-from-sdo-s-3rd-year-video.html

[3] surface of the sun: http://www.space.com/17160-sun-atmosphere.html

[4] Massive sunspot that has DOUBLED in size in recent days could send solar storms careering toward Earth: http://www.prisonplanet.com/massive-sunspot-that-has-doubled-in-size-in-recent-days-could-send-solar-storms-careering-toward-earth.html

[5] The calm before the solar storm? NASA warns ‘something unexpected is happening to the Sun’: http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-calm-before-the-solar-storm-nasa-warns-something-unexpected-is-happening-to-the-sun.html

[6] Giant sunspot shoots out intense, X-class solar flare: http://www.prisonplanet.com/giant-sunspot-shoots-out-intense-x-class-solar-flare.html

[7] NASA Goddard study suggests solar variation plays a role in our current climate: http://www.prisonplanet.com/nasa-goddard-study-suggests-solar-variation-plays-a-role-in-our-current-climate.html

[8] Will The Peak Of The Solar Cycle In 2013 Produce Technology Crippling Solar Super Storms?: http://www.prisonplanet.com/will-the-peak-of-the-solar-cycle-in-2013-produce-technology-crippling-solar-super-storms.html

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