Astronomers have picked up a massive buildup of plasma on the sun’s eastern limb, which has never been seen before and is puzzling scientists. The loop of plasma on the limb is so large that scientific terms does not accurately describe it.
Astronomer Richard N. Schrantz, who captured the event from his backyard observatory in Nicholasville, Kentucky, describes it as “ginormous” in nature, which extends up to 3,25,000 kilometers in space. That is almost the distance between Earth and the Moon.
Spaceweather.com, which tracks the solar movements and the solar cycle released the image and reported that the right foot of the structure is increasingly unstable, and the whole thing could collapse at any moment. However, there are no chances of it being directed towards the Earth as it is on the other end of the sun.
Amateur astronomers can also look at the massive plasma buildup using their telescopes since it’s not in the direct line of sight.
Astronomers had late last week witnessed a massive eruption on the northeastern limb of the star in our solar system, that remained obscured from view. While the explosion was powerful, experts had predicted that Earth is not in the line of fire from the Sun.
Meanwhile, Sunspot AR3068, which is developing on the Sun is growing faster and there are chances of it developing beta-gamma magnetic field that harbours energy for M-class solar flares. “Any explosions today will be geoeffective because the sunspot is almost directly facing Earth,” spaceweather reported.
The Space Weather Prediction Center under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a minor radio blackout from a solar storm headed towards the planet. With the sun’s 11-year activity cycle ramping up, phenomena such as CMEs and solar flares are increasing in frequency.