Sunspot AR3310 is a gigantic dark area on the Sun that is currently at the edge of the visible solar disk. Its size is four times the size of Earth, making it an impressive sight that can be viewed without a telescope, although protective gear such as solar-gazing goggles is of course required.
To illustrate its enormous size, South Korean astronomer Bum-Suk Yeom has created a photo showing AR3310’s relative scale compared to Earth. Due to its current location at the edge of the visible solar disk, the sunspot will soon disappear from view, so it is necessary to act quickly to witness this phenomenon.
Astronomers and astrophotographers around the world have been watching sunspot AR3310 closely for as long as it has been visible, capturing stunning images of the Sun and this gigantic sunspot.
Experts stress the importance of using proper solar viewing glasses, similar to those used to view eclipses, in order to safely observe sunspot AR3310 with the naked eye. It is essential to take into account that the use of conventional sunglasses does not provide the necessary protection for this activity.
Following the recommendations of Space.com, it is essential to put on your sunglasses before looking at the Sun and avoid looking directly at it without eye protection. Even brief exposure to sunlight without proper protection can cause permanent eye damage. Therefore, caution should be exercised and make sure to follow safety measures when observing the sunspot.
Sunspots are areas of the Sun that appear darker due to a slightly lower temperature. According to the US National Weather Service, these areas are associated with strong magnetic fields, approximately 2,500 times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field. The strong magnetic field of sunspots increases the magnetic pressure and reduces the surrounding atmospheric pressure. This, in turn, adds the science agency, inhibits the flow of new, hot gas from the interior of the Sun to the surface, causing a decrease in temperature relative to its surroundings.
In accordance with Space.com, sunspots, generated by strong magnetic fields, are often the source of solar flares, also known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). These bursts of solar plasma have the ability to reach Earth, where they can interfere with electronic systems and give rise to impressive auroras.
As the Sun progresses through its 11-year solar cycle, the number of sunspots varies. During solar maximum, solar activity peaks and many more sunspots are observed compared to solar minimum, which occurs about six years later. Since they began to be recorded in 1755, a total of 25 of these cycles of solar activity have been observed.
The last solar minimum occurred in 2019 and the next solar maximum is estimated to occur in 2025, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Space Weather Prediction.
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Source: La Opinion