Multiple solar eruptions all from a single sunspot have blasted into space recently, according to Space.com According to the site, the sun eruptions originated from an overactive sunspot called AR2975, which apparently has been firing off flares since March 28. This stellar event could potentially cause auroras in the sky over North America and Europe.
“Strong G3-class geomagnetic storms are possible during the early UT hours of March 31st when a Cannibal CME is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. During such storms, naked-eye auroras can descend into the USA as far south as, eg Illinois and Oregon,” says SpaceWeather.com, a space news and information site authored by professional astronomer Tony Phillips.
Sunspots are areas on the sun that appear darker than the rest of its surface. They appear when magnetic lines on the sun twist and suddenly realign near the visible surface.
These magnetic fields are so strong that they keep some of the heat within the sun from reaching the surface, therefore making sunspots cooler and therefore darker than the rest of the surface.
At times, these sunspots are associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are massive expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona (outer atmosphere). These CMEs travel outwards from the sun, usually between the speeds of 250 km/s (kilometres per second) and 3000 km/s.
But satellites, space stations, astronauts, aviation systems, GPS, and even power grids can be affected by very strong solar eruptions. On March 12, 1989, a severe solar storms caused by multiple CMEs took out Quebec’s (a Canadian province) entire electricity grid for over nine hours.