Largest sunspot in more than 20 years facing Earth

October 24, 2014 12:03 PM

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Largest sunspot in more than 20 years facing Earth

A massive sunspot region is staring at the Earth, and frequently hurling out high energy solar flares. But so far, none of the flares have been complemented by a blast of plasma known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) that can lead to aurora in the Earth’s atmosphere and interfere with spacecraft operations and power systems.

“This is the largest sunspot group since November of 1990,” said Doug Biesecker, a researcher at the National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center. Its size is 2,740 millionths of the solar disc which, according to the Web site The Sun Today, is roughly the size of Jupiter.

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