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May 9, 2012

coastlinesproject

MONSTER SUNSPOT TO UNLEASH POWERFUL SOLAR FLARES

The huge spot measures more than 60,000 miles across.

Tue May 8, 2012 05:33 PM ET
Content provided by Mike Wall, SPACE.com
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THE GIST
  • AR 1476 is big enough for amateur astronomers with decent equipment to spot from their backyards, weather permitting.
  • Monday evening’s eruption generated an Earth-directed CME, which should hit Earth sometime Wednesday morning (May 9).
  • Sunspots are temporary dark patches on the surface of the sun that are caused by intense magnetic activity.
/nws/space/2012/05/08/sunspot-ar1476278.jpg

The monster sunspot group AR 1476 (upper left) measures more than 60,000 miles from end to end. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft snapped this photo on May 7, 2012. Click to enlarge this image. 
NASA/SDO

An enormous sunspot group has taken shape on the surface of the sun, hinting that our star may soon start spouting off some powerful…

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