As most Americans go about their daily lives without care or concern for what’s happening around them, 92 million miles away a catastrophic threat may well be in the making.
In January, the NOAA identified a sizable sun spot dubbed AR 1944. Within hours of warnings being issued about the potential for this particular region of the sun to cause earth-directed coronal mass ejections it sent an X-class solar flare our way. While powerful, that particular flare and the subsequent M-class flares were not strong enough to cause any significant disruptions on earth.
But as the spot rotated to the other side of the sun things got interesting… and ever more dangerous for the people of earth.
AR1944 has since been renamed to AR1967, and the region is now more active than it was in January. According to sky photographer John Chumack, AR1967 has grown considerably. It is now wider than Jupiter. That’s big. So big, in fact, that you can fit over 100 earth-sized planets into it.
h/t Matt Bracken