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Sunspot archipelago wider than 15 Earths could unleash powerful solar flares

The sun is approaching its explosive peak, known as the solar maximum, when it becomes more active and prone to launching solar storms.

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Scientists have observed several signs that the solar maximum could arrive sooner and be more powerful than expected. One of these signs is the emergence of an enormous sunspot archipelago on the sun’s surface.

Sunspots are dark patches that indicate regions of intense magnetic activity on the sun. They are often the source of solar flares, which are bursts of light and radiation, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are eruptions of plasma and charged particles.

These phenomena can affect Earth’s atmosphere, radio signals, power grids, satellites and space missions.

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The first sunspot group, named AR3490, rotated onto the sun’s nearside on Nov. 18 over the star’s northeastern shoulder. The dark patch was quickly followed by another sunspot group, AR3491, which trailed in its wake, reported.

In total, the massive collection of sunspots spans around 125,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) across, which is more than 15 times wider than Earth, according to

Scientists are monitoring the sunspot archipelago closely as it rotates across the sun’s face. They expect more solar activity from this region in the coming days and weeks.

The sunspot archipelago is one of the largest and most active sunspot groups ever observed, and it could signal that the sun is gearing up for its explosive peak.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.