A canyon almost 20,000 kilometers deep has formed on the surface of the sun. There were also eruptions that directed the solar wind towards our planet. Two eruptions occurred in the south-central part of the sun, according to information from the Met Office, a British weather service.
They were detected not only by satellites operating in the extremely ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but also by ground-based telescopes equipped with infrared observation devices.
The canyon formed on the surface of the sun is almost 20,000 kilometers deep
The very depth of the resulting canyon, almost 20,000 kilometers, can be impressive. Even more impressive is its length, at least 200,000 kilometers. As for the two explosions, they took place on April 3 and 4, respectively. The solar wind that arises during such phenomena can cause geomagnetic storms and the appearance of auroras on Earth. Both eruptions were accompanied by a coronal mass ejection, or CME. This is the term for the discharge of charged plasma from the Sun's upper atmosphere known as the solar corona.
In most cases, CMEs do not cause serious damage to Earth, but sometimes they can pose a threat to the local infrastructure. Among others, the Starlink satellites have found out about it - some of them were damaged during their stay in orbit around the Earth. Other components such as power grids are also affected. Without access to electricity, humanity would be in enormous trouble, and the risk of such a turn of events is higher than it might seem.
Such storms have happened in the history of the Earth relatively recently, although they were so distant times that electricity was not as widely used as it is today. The most striking example of a magnetic storm associated with a coronal mass ejection is the one that occurred in 1859. Just then, approximately 18 hours after the solar flare, CME reached our planet. Power lines and communication networks were damaged, and the northern lights were visible even in areas that are usually outside their range.
In 1859, there was a powerful magnetic storm related to the activity of the sun
In December 2019, the 11-year cycle of our star's activity began. Consequently, the sun is fairly calm, but the number of sunspots and eruptions will increase. The cycle in progress should peak in mid-2025. In terms of current activity, it is worth mentioning that in March there were at least 17 solar eruptions related to a single sunspot, known as AR2975. Sunspots are characterized by a lower temperature than the environment and the presence of intense magnetic fields.