Part of sun turns into stormy 'benevolent monster'

November 3, 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: Moderate Labor Day solar flare eruption

0 shares

Related Stories

Moderate Labor Day solar flare eruption

September 7, 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 perspective, ...

Rotating sunspots spin up a super solar flare

April 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 of the flaring ...

An X1.4 Solar Flare and a CME

September 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

August 4, 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 1261 in a couple ...

Recommended for you

Major space mystery solved using data from student satellite

December 13, 2017

A 60-year-old mystery regarding the source of some energetic and potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts is now solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by University of Colorado ...

Bright areas on Ceres suggest geologic activity

December 13, 2017

If you could fly aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft, the surface of dwarf planet Ceres would generally look quite dark, but with notable exceptions. These exceptions are the hundreds of bright areas that stand out in images Dawn ...

Spanning disciplines in the search for life beyond Earth

December 13, 2017

The search for life beyond Earth is riding a surge of creativity and innovation. Following a gold rush of exoplanet discovery over the past two decades, it is time to tackle the next step: determining which of the known exoplanets ...

0 comments

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.