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we can expect to get some CMEs sort of head on" at that point, he said.
Scientists give AR1748 a 40 to 50 percent chance of firing off another X class flare, he added, though this probability is a rough estimate that could change as further information becomes available.
At about the size of two Earths, AR1748 is not a particularly large sunspot. (Sunspots can stretch for tens of thousands of miles across the solar surface.) But the active region does appear to have an unusually complex structure, Young said.
Sunspots are temporary dark and relatively cool patches on our star's surface where the local magnetic field is Vans On The Wall Shoes
Because AR1748 is near the sun's limb at the moment, it's tough to say if its complexity is increasing, which could be an indicator of future activity. But things should become clearer in the next day or so, as scientists get a better look at the sunspot, he added.
"If it sends something off, then Skechers Energy
"In a couple of days, it will be far enough onto the disk that any CMEs that we got would probably have some impact on Earth," solar astrophysicist C.
X class flares aimed at Earth can have consequences on a planet wide scale, triggering widespread radio blackouts and long lasting radiation storms.
Solar activity waxes and wanes over an 11 year cycle. The current cycle, called Solar Cycle 24, is ramping up toward an expected peak later this year.
The super active sunspot responsible for unleashing the three most powerful solar flares of 2013 within a 24 hour stretch this week is slowly Skechers Go Walk
AR1748 should be near the center of the solar disk by around Saturday, Young added.
Active Region 1748, as the sunspot is known, unleashed three monster solar flares between Sunday and Monday (May 12 to 13). Every one of the solar storms registered as an X class flare the most powerful type with each successive event stronger than the last, culminating in an X3.2 megablast Monday night.
rotating toward Earth and will likely be facing our planet by the weekend, experts say.
Earth directed CMEs have even more destructive potential. When a CME's charged particles interact with Earth's magnetic field, they can spawn geomagnetic storms powerful enough to disrupt GPS signals, radio communications and power grids.
Scientists have been tracking the sun's weather cycle since 1843, when it was first discovered. Today, NASA and other space agencies use sophisticated satellites and spacecraft to monitor the sun's activity with high definition instruments to keep tabs on space weather events.
These solar explosions did not affect Earth, since AR1748 was not facing our planet at the time. But the sunspot is now circling into view, so future flares and any associated eruptions of super hot solar plasma called coronal mass ejections (CMEs) could potentially target our planet, scientists say.
"One of the biggest indicators of an active region flaring is that it already flared," Young said. "In this Vans Ladies Slip Ons case, the fact that it's already put out a really large flare gives it a strong possibility that it'll do it again."
very strong. They frequently, but not always, serve as staging grounds for powerful solar flares and CMEs.
While researchers will take AR1748's complexity and evolution into account when gauging its future eruption potential, they'll also look closely at its past behavior.
Sunspot Blasting Out Major Solar Flares Will Face Earth Soon
Solar Max: Amazing Sun Storm Photos of 2013How Many Solar Flares Can You See? 3 X Flares In 24 Hrs VideoThe Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in HistoryMORE: Amazing Images from Out of This World
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