Massive flares erupt from largest sunspot in 25 years

October 28, 2014 1:46 PM

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Massive flares erupt from largest sunspot in 25 years

A massive solar eruption on 26 October was the sixth large flare since 19 October, all emanating from one gigantic sunspot called AR 12192. Measuring 129,000 kilometres across, it's the largest sunspot since 1990. For comparison, that's a spot 10 times the diameter of Earth. Does it pose dangers to us?

Lika Guhathakurta, an astrophysicist at NASA, says the timing of the outburst is not surprising. "We're just past the peak of the 11 year cycle," she says, referring to the cycle of activity the sun tends to follow. "Just when we begin this drop, that's when the biggest sunspots and strongest flares...

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