It has been an incredible exciting week the massive Sunspot AR3190, (magnified above) the biggest sunspot in years and visible to the naked eye has so far failed to deliver, which is maybe a good thing. . . Credit SDO/HMI
Sunspot AR3190, (magnified above) the biggest sunspot in years and visible to the naked eye has so far failed to deliver. The impressive sunspot, more than 4 times larger than the earth has not ejected the massive X-Class solar flare many astronomers were hoping for.
However, yesterday, sunspots AR3192 and Ar3190 briefly introduced each other when a bolt of lightning connected the two sunspots together, see left, credit Spaceweather.com. . .
An enormous plasma discharge, more than 500,000 km long released from sunspot AR3192 ZIG-ZAGGED more than half a million km and zapped the massive sunspot AR3190.
NASA is still predicting a 60% chance of M-Class flares in the next 48 hours but only a 10% chance for X-Class flares.
2023 has seen a very exciting start for astronomers already with three powerful X-Class solar flares and a plethora of sunspots. Our Sun is still brisling with powerful sunspots with the biggest sunspot in years now facing our planet. Sunspot AR3190 is so big it can be seen with the naked eye. (Warning never look at the sun without proper protection for your eyes)
Sunspot AR3190 is at the moment more than four times the size of the earth and it is facing our planet, meaning if the sunspot explodes, releasing a powerful coronal mass ejection the resulting solar flare would hit earth full on.
If a sunspot this size, and in this position was to release a very powerful X-Class flare it could be devasting for the earth and the very important satellites surrounding it. It could be disastrous in fact. It would, in a flash, knock out all GPS and internet signals, crippeling everything from banking to toilet systems and knocking out the power grid, trapping people in lifts and destroying life support systems such as pacemakers and ventilators. It would literally knock us back into the 18th century.
Intense solar activity also affects many other things here on earth causing problems for animal navigation, such as dolphins, whales, birds and insects. Powerful solar events can cause powerful weather events and an increase in volcanic and seismic activity too.
So the two powerful major quakes which were recorded last night should not come as a great surprise.
Last night, a very deep but powerful magnitude 6.8 quake rattled Northern Argentina, see map above. Earlier another deep, magnitude 6.2 rocked the Caribbean Islands, see map below.
Not surprisingly with all the solar activity 2023 has been a busy month so far recording an impressive 9 major quakes, (mag 6 or higher) with 3 of them being mag 7 or higher. Four of the major quakes so far this year have happened in Indonesia. Last night's ma 6.2 was the first major quake this year outside the Pacific Ring Of Fire.
The biggest quake so far this year was an extremely powerful magnitude of 7.6 in Pulau Pulau Indonesia on the 9 of January.
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