Dead Sunspot

A Dead Sunspot ruptured on Monday (April 11), generating a massive ejection of solar debris that is heading toward Earth.

AR2987, a dead sunspot, is responsible for the explosion. The sunspot explosion unleashed a large amount of radiation energy. The Dead Sunspot also released a  coronal mass ejection (CME) – explosive balls of solar material — which might cause the northern lights to become more powerful in Earth’s upper atmosphere. According to SpaceWeather, the material in that CME is expected to hit Earth on April 14.

Dead Sunspots Are Temporary

Sunspots are black areas on the sun’s surface. The tremendous magnetic flux from the sun’s core causes them. These blemishes are only transient, lasting ranging from a few hours to several months.

According to Philip Judge, a solar physicist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s High Altitude Observatory, the concept of a “dead” sunspot is more lyrical than factual (NCAR). The sun’s convection, on the other hand, splits these spots apart, leaving behind magnetically agitated parts of the otherwise quiet solar surface. Whatever the future holds for AR2987, the sunspot released a C-class solar flare on Monday at 5:21 UTC (April 11). When the plasma and magnetic fields above a sunspot are stressed, they speed outward because they would run against dense stuff if they moved down into the sun’s center, according to Judge.

C-class flares are quite common, although they seldom have direct consequences on Earth. Solar flares can sometimes generate coronal mass ejections, which are massive eruptions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun that move outward into space at millions of miles per hour, like in today’s explosion. CMEs are infrequently triggered by C-class solar flares, and when they happen, the CMEs are generally sluggish and feeble. When charged particles in CMEs collide with the magnetic field encircling Earth, they can move down magnetic field lines emanating from the North and South Poles. They interact with atmospheric gases, releasing energy in the form of photons and causing the aurora — the northern and southern lights — to change and glisten.