It DOES seem like every time someone flips out over how major a solar flare is, or anything else to do with the sun for that matter, it ends up not really being bad at all.
But when we hear how HUGE this sunspot is that's forming on the sun's surface… we tend to not take it so lightly!
The spot has a diameter of 60,000 miles and is many times that of the Earth's which is just under 8,000 miles across. It's even possible to view with home telescopes.
Don't do that, though, unless your 'scope is fitted with sun filters to prevent permanent eye damage. Duh!
A huge solar flare is being predicted because of the spot — one that will have a burst of radiation travelling at up to 5million mph right towards us.
Unfortunately something like that could cause magnetic storms, which could disrupt satellites and electricity grids.
There's also no specific timeline for this to occur. During the next two years, though, they're expecting the number of sunspots visible on the sun to reach a maximum!
Space is cray!
[Image via NASA.]