Jed Castles Talks To NASA About Historical Sunspot Rotating To Face Earth

Friday, November 21st 2014, 9:36 am
By: News 9

Scientists around the world have their eyes turned to the sun this week, as it reveals a massive active region that could affect us here on Earth. The area in question is a sunspot, and when it faced Earth last month, it was the largest observed in nearly a quarter century. Now, this historical sunspot is rotating to face Earth again this week.

Sunspots are dark patches on the sun thought to be hotbeds for solar activity. In the past, sunspots have created violent bursts of radiation, known as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. 

Although this radiation can't pass through Earth's atmosphere and affect humans, it can disrupt power grids and communications signals vital to everyday life, including satellite connections and GPS systems.

Although this sunspot has shrunk, it was bigger than 10 Earths put together when it faced our planet last month, making it the largest observed in 24 years. The sunspot also produced six colossal X-class solar flares, the strongest type of flare. NASA scientists are now watching this sunspot to see what it could do this week.

News 9's Jed Castles had a chance to speak with NASA about this event. Click on the video to see the complete interview.