• A sunspot on the Sun is turning toward Earth
  • Sunspot AR2770 has been emitting solar flares
  • A solar storm could cause major disruptions on Earth

A space weather forecasting site confirmed that a sunspot on the Sun is turning toward Earth. Since it has been discharging emissions from the Sun, Earth could get hit by a solar flare from the sunspot.

A sunspot is a dark area on the surface of the Sun that was formed by the sudden magnetic flux from the massive star’s interior. The sudden change in the magnetic field activity within a sunspot could lead to the formation of various solar emissions such as coronal mass ejections, radio bursts and solar flares.

Recently, a newly discovered sunspot known as AR2770 was observed as it turned to face Earth, reported. An amateur astronomer named Martin Wise of Trenton, Florida was able to capture a close-up photo of the sunspot.

Based on the photo captured by Wise, estimated that the dark spots at the center of AR2770 could be as big as the planet Mars. The site noted that the sunspot is slowly growing.

“The sunspot's primary dark core is about as wide as the planet Mars, and it is trailed by several moon-sized ‘spotlets,’” the site stated. “These dimensions make it one of the largest sunspot groups of the current Solar Minimum.”

Since its discovery, AR2770 has been known to emit weak solar flares. Some of them caused minor waves of ionization or disruptions in the Earth’s atmosphere. The interactions between Earth’s magnetic field and the weak solar flares also triggered auroras or polar lights in certain parts of the sky.

Since the sunspot is slowly growing, noted that it might display an increase in activity within the next couple of days. This means that it might start to hurl more powerful or frequent solar flare at Earth as it faces the planet.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), powerful solar events could disrupt various electricity-based facilities and operations on Earth.

“Strong solar storms can cause fluctuations of electrical currents in space and energize electrons and protons trapped in Earth's varying magnetic field,” NOAA explained. “These disturbances can cause problems with radio communications, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), power grids, and satellites.”

A gigantic sunspot – almost 80,000 miles across --can be seen on the lower center of the sun in this image from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory captured on Oct. 23, 2014. This active region is the largest of the current solar cycle. NASA/SDO