The Sun has produced a whole bunch of solar flares this week

While the hurricanes popping up in the Atlantic has captured everyone’s attention, the Sun has had its own active week as well. A total of six solar flares have erupted from the same active sunspot since Monday — including the largest flare the Sun has produced in its current cycle.

Sunspots are cool, dark regions on the Sun’s surface with strong magnetic fields. These solar phenomena pop up on the Sun from time to time, sometimes relatively frequently. In fact, the Sun has a roughly 11-year sunspot cycle — the result of the its changing magnetic field. Magnetic material inside the Sun is always moving and rising to the surface, and it eventually causes the Sun’s north and south poles to flip. Because of this, the Sun alternates between…

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