X-class flares are big. Major events can trigger radio blackouts worldwide and long-lasting radiation storms in the upper atmosphere.
A recently observed sunspot could possibly produce an X-class solar flare. The sunspot called AR3112 is one of the biggest sunspots observed in years. It has just rotated over the sun’s northeastern limb.
As reported by speceweather.com, AR3112 is a big dangerous sunspot. It has over a dozen dark cores scattered across 130,000 km of solar terrain. This makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes.
With a white light photo of AR3112 inset, the image above shows a magnetic map of the sun’s surface. The reason why this sunspot group is so dangerous is evident. Positive and negative magnetic polarities are bumping together, which could produce big solar flares.
As the sunspot group transits the solar disc, facing Earth the entire time, the formation of AR3112, which is already completely developed and unstable, may indicate the start of two weeks of intense solar activity.