As sunspots go, AR 2192 is, as astronomer Phil Plait has noted, “freakishly huge.”
Discovery News says: “Amateur astronomers have been wowed by a vast sunspot that has rotated to face Earth, the largest since this solar cycle began in 2008, and solar observatories (on the ground and orbiting Earth) are closely monitoring the region.”
How vast is it? Discovery writes that “the sunspot located at the base of AR2192 has swelled to over 80,000 miles across — Jupiter could almost fit inside the sunspot’s mottled diameter.”
The sunspot is particularly interesting because of its potential to wreak havoc here on Earth.
According to Universe Today: “[As] the Sun rotates this monster into our line of sight, possibilities for Earth-directed flares and coronal mass ejections increase as do geomagnetic storms, the bringer of auroras.”
Photo credit: NASA