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: New commercial rocket descent data may help NASA with future Mars landings

4.4 /5 (11 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Heavy metal frost? A new look at a Venusian mystery

2 hours ago

Venus is hiding something beneath its brilliant shroud of clouds: a first order mystery about the planet that researchers may be a little closer to solving because of a new re-analysis of twenty-year-old ...

Hot explosions on the cool sun

8 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The Sun is more spirited than previously thought. Apart from the solar eruptions, huge bursts of particles and radiation from the outer atmosphere of our star, also the cooler layer right below ...

Europe secures new generation of weather satellites

8 hours ago

Contracts were signed today to build three pairs of MetOp Second Generation satellites, ensuring the continuity of essential information for global weather forecasting and climate monitoring for decades to ...

User comments : 0