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Solar storms erupt from giant sunspot
Posted: Fri, Mar 30, 2001, 2:33 PM ET (1933 GMT)
Sunspot region 9393 The largest sunspot region in a decade is generating storms that will have at least a modest effect on the Earth for the next several days. A sunspot region designated 9393, 13 times larger than the surface area of the Earth, recently rotated into view from the Earth. The region has generated at least four flares, including an X-class event — the strongest class of flares — Thursday at 5:15 am EST (1015 GMT). Those flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have created some minor radio blackouts and solar radiation storms in the last day, according to NOAA's Space Environment Center. The events are expected to cause some geomagnetic activity, including the possibility for brilliant aurora displays, in the next few days. The Sun is presently around the peak of its 11-year activity cycle, but has been relatively quiescent for the last several months.
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