After experiencing a deep solar minimum or the lack of activity, the Sun is back in action as astrophysicists have reported that it has now entered a new solar cycle.
A New Solar Cycle
According to a report by The Wire Science, stargazers have reportedly seen activities on the Sun's surface, indicating that it is back to business for the next 11 years of electromagnetic activity before entering another slump and renews the cycle.
Based on the reports, there is a planet-sized sunspot on the surface of our Sun known as AR2770, which is expected to grow in size further and cause eruptions.
In the event the sunspot erupts, it would cause a massive solar flare and storms heading to Earth.
Currently, the massive sunspot has a 50,000-kilometer diameter and will most likely release a tremendous amount of energy directed to our planet, which could affect us here on Earth.
How Could Solar Flares Affect Us?
This phenomenon is known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CME), and it could impact us by disrupting satellite communications, radio waves, Global Positioning System (GPS) connectivity, and power grids.
This happens because CMEs cause electrical currents within the space to fluctuate, which energizes protons and electrons that are trapped in our planet's magnetic field.
Financial Express has reported that the sunspot has already caused several solar storms in the past, but they were only minor compared to the solar flare that scientists are expecting to see in the near future.
Although they could negatively affect us, solar flares bring something good: auroras.
CMEs are known to cause intense light in the sky known as auroras, which is why this beautiful phenomenon was incredibly rare earlier this year when the Sun was inactive.
Will it be a "Killer" Solare Flare?
Nevertheless, these solar flares release incredible energy that is a trillion times stronger than that of an atomic bomb, so despite our distance from the Sun, "killer" flares could inflict some damage to us here on Earth.
Could the next big solar flare be a "killer" one?
According to experts, "killer" solar flares are rare and only happen once every century, with the last known killer flare happening in 1859, known as the Carrington event, followed by a less strong one in 1989.
Statistically, a killer solar flare is long overdue, but scientists have reason to believe that it won't happen anytime soon as the Sun, specifically AR2770, isn't exactly showing signs that it would cause such type of solar flare.
Additionally, scientists have developed a new model that could help them predict seven of the Sun's biggest solar flares from its last solar cycle, helping them monitor the star's activity and see whether it would affect us here on Earth.
For those who are not familiar with sunspots, these are the dark spots on the surface of our Sun, which are relatively small compared to the size of our star, but big compared to our planet.
Solar activities become common during the first half of a solar cycle, so we can expect more of these solar flares and storms in the coming years as the Sun renews its cycle.
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Written by: Nhx Tingson