Part of sun turns into stormy 'benevolent monster'

Nov 03, 2011 By SETH BORENSTEIN , AP Science Writer

(AP) -- After years of quiet, the sun is coming alive with solar storms in a big way.

The sun shot off a flare Thursday afternoon from a region that scientists are calling a "benevolent monster."

Scientists at the federal Center say that region is the most active part of the sun since 2005. It has dozens of sunspots, including one that is the size of 17 Earths.

Thursday's flare wasn't aimed at Earth. However, this active region is now slowly turning toward Earth. Scientists say that region will be directly facing Earth in about five days.

Explore further: Brief moon eclipse coming April 4

0 shares

Related Stories

Moderate Labor Day solar flare eruption

Sep 07, 2011

At 9:35 PM ET on September 5, 2011, the sun emitted an Earth-directed M5.3 class flare as measured by the GOES satellite. The flare erupted from a region of the sun that appears close to dead center from Earth's ...

Rotating sunspots spin up a super solar flare

Apr 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The largest solar flare recorded in nearly five years was triggered by interactions between five rotating sunspots. Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire studied observations ...

An X1.4 Solar Flare and a CME

Sep 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A large coronal mass ejection (CME) shot off the West (right) side of the sun at 6:24 PM ET on September 21, 2011. The CME is moving away from Earth at about 900 miles per second.

Solar storm heading our way

Aug 04, 2011

Early yesterday, (Aug 3, 2011) two active regions on the Sun, sunspot 1261 and 1263 unleashed solar flares, which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The video shows an M6 class flare from ...

Recommended for you

Brief moon eclipse coming April 4

1 hour ago

A brief total eclipse of the Moon may be visible on April 4 to skywatchers in western North America, Australia and East Asia, astronomers say.

Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

22 hours ago

An unusually brief total eclipse of the Moon will be visible before dawn this Saturday, April 4th, from western North America. The eclipse happens on Saturday evening for Australia and East Asia.

Cassini: Return to Rhea

Mar 30, 2015

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

Mar 30, 2015

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

Mar 30, 2015

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.