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NASA Sees Monster Sunspot Growing Fast

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NASA Sees Monster Sunspot Growing Fast

Postby skynet » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:25 pm

"The sun is currently in the midst of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle and is expected to reach peak activity sometime this year."

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A colossal sunspot on the surface of the sun is large enough to swallow six Earths whole, and could trigger solar flares this week, NASA scientists say.

The giant sunspot was captured on camera by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory as it swelled to enormous proportions over the 48 hours spanning Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 19 and 20). SDO is one of several spacecraft that constantly monitor the sun's space weather environment.

"It has grown to over six Earth diameters across, but its full extent is hard to judge since the spot lies on a sphere, not a flat disk," wrote NASA spokeswoman Karen Fox, of the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in an image description.

Read More: NASA Sees Monster Sunspot Growing Fast, Solar Storms Possible
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