On October 16, 2010, NASA caught a stunning development on the Sun. A sunspot, dubbed sunspot 1112, began crackling. The result was described as “one of the most intense, solar flares seen in the past few months.”
I’m not a science wiz, but the flare was qualified as an M3, which is apparently massive, and, could effect us on Earth, either by disturbing satellites, short-wave radio communication or causing biochemical damage to the human body. But, this whole thing gets more intriguing, even a bit worrisome.
In addition, a vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the sun’s southern hemisphere, measuring about 400,000 km. A bright ‘hot spot’ just north of the filament’s midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If the sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt. But so far, none of the flares has destabilized the filament.
If this thing erupts, we could experience coronal mass ejection, which would be a very bad thing, since it was directly facing the Earth. Fortunately, sunspot 1112 has begun to rotate away from us. Despite it being a dud, the wackos have come out of the woodwork, like people who follow David Icke and religious fanatics who are seeing this as the beginning of the rapture.
I’m not one to believe in all of that, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. It’s not like we can send Bruce Willis up to the Sun with a couple of nukes and blow this sunspot up while it’s facing away from us. Although, it does make a plausible Hollywood scenario.
For now, everything we know here on Earth is safe and sound. Sure, sunspot 1112 could come back with a vengeance, depending on who you believe, but it’s nothing to lose sleep over. It’s an astonishing development to witness, however. Reminds you that there is so much going on in outer space, because of it’s infinity and all. It’s actually a shame that it didn’t receive any sort of media attention. I guess the whole Earth getting destroyed isn’t as juicy as Emma Stone’s new tattoo, although it was designed by Paul McCartney, so that’s kinda interesting.
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