Mixed-up sunspot emits powerful solar flare

A mixed-up region of sunspots pointed almost directly at Earth has just emitted a major solar flare, which could cause havoc with power grids and communication networks over the next few days.

NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) first detected the sunspot area designated AR3006 (“AR” stands for “active region”) several days ago; now the region is located near the center of the sun’s visible disk.

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