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Sunspots: Learn more

Sunspots: Learn more

phenomenon AstronomySunspots are darker regions of the sun’s surface. The reason for the formation of these spots lies in the low temperature, when compared to those expected for the region, as well as the presence of a concentrated magnetic field responsible for the appearance of sunspots.

Increased activity from the sun and what to expect

Image: Canva

field presence magnetic, giving rise to these spots, has the ability to accumulate matter in the form of plasma, which, on specific occasions, can be released into space. The more sunspots there are, the higher the sun’s activity index.

Between 2000 and 2010, the solar activity index, in the form of spots, was considered to be one of the lowest, with little or no sunspot detection for prolonged periods.

However, if there were no sunspots recorded in 2008 in about 266 days, the same cannot be said for 2022 and early 2023. In January and February of that year alone, the average was 140 sunspots detected.

In a few days, more than 208 sites were seen. And if sunspots indicate activity and material trapped in sunspots by magnetic fields, which can be thrown into space, this means that solar storms could be nearby.

Thus, there is growing concern about the impact of solar storms, in the form of particle releases, which can pose risks to electronic equipment and satellites placed in Earth’s orbit.

northern lights

Responsible for phenomena such as the aurora borealis, which are actual light displays in the sky in some regions of the planet, solar storms can interact with Earth’s magnetic field, interfere with missile launches, and extinguish GPS signals.

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sunspots
Image: Canva

The consequences of this phenomenon are diverse. In Canada, an outage of the GPS signal due to the solar storm on February 27, 2023 was responsible for the oil rigs being grounded.

solar storm

In the year 2022, SpaceX, the billionaire company Elon Musk And the current CEO of Twitter, he recorded the loss of 40 satellites due to the solar storm, after it was launched amid an interaction between the magnetic fields of the Earth and the storm.

sunspots
Image: Canva