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Watch Out! Solar Ejection Headed Toward Earth on Thursday, May Prompt Aurora Spectacle

© AP Photo / Charlie RiedelBuildings in downtown Phoenix are silhouetted at sunset, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Buildings in downtown Phoenix are silhouetted at sunset, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.04.2022
Sunspots are dark areas on the sun's surface that scientists say are created by a powerful magnetic flux from the sun's interior, and that these blemishes are only transient as they can last anywhere from a few hours to several months.
A sunspot ruptured on Monday, generating a mass ejection of solar wind that is heading toward Earth and expected to hit our planet on Thursday.
According to the report published on Science Alert, the explosion is caused by a dead sunspot known as AR2987. The sunspot explosion released a large amount of energy in the form of radiation, as well as a coronal mass ejection (CME), or explosive balls of solar material, all of which could cause the northern lights to become more powerful in Earth's upper atmosphere.
The recent CME could reportedly produce a modest (G1) geomagnetic storm on April 14, with minor effects on satellite operations and weak power grid oscillations. The aurora could be seen as far south as the northern US and Canada, at lower latitudes than usual.

According to Philip Judge, a solar physicist at the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who was quoted in the report as saying, those "dead" sunspots can "restart,” with more magnetism appearing later (days, weeks) at the same region, as if a weakness was made in the convection zone, or as if there is an unstable region under the surface that is particularly good at generating magnetic fields beneath.

The AR2987 sunspot released a C-class solar flare this Monday.
When the plasma and magnetic fields above a sunspot are stressed, they speed outward because they would run against dense material if they moved downward toward the Sun's center. While C-class flares are fairly common, they rarely have direct impacts on Earth.
The Sun popped off an M-Class (moderate level) flare on Sept. 25, 2011 that sent a plume of plasma out above the Sun, but a good portion of it appeared to fall back towards the active region that launched it - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.04.2022
Canyon of Fire: Solar Wind-Spitting 12,000 Mile-Deep Chasm Opens on Sun
When charged particles from CMEs collide with the magnetic field surrounding Earth, they can travel down magnetic field lines emanating from the North and South Poles, interacting with gasses in the atmosphere and releasing energy in the form of photons, resulting in the aurora – the northern and southern lights.
A stream of particles known as the solar wind is enough to cause the aurora in the polar regions during quiet moments on the sun's surface. The aurora may emerge across a considerably wider region during a major CME due to the higher disturbance to the planet's magnetic field.
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