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2023’s Most Remarkable Solar Storms: A Top 10 Countdown

Photo from Google

Solar activity increased in 2023, approaching its 11-year maximum. This increased solar activity has caused intense solar storms and unexpected phenomena.

Photo from Google

10 Remarkable Solar Storm

1. Powerful X-Class Flares:
In 2023, the sun generated 12 X-class flares, the strongest. Rare flares with strong flashes become increasingly often near solar maximum. Flares sending magnetized plasma clouds approaching Earth have caused geomagnetic storms due to increased activity.

2. Sun’s Massive ‘Hole’
A gigantic “coronal hole” bigger than 60 Earths erupted on the sun in December, blasting supercharged solar wind toward Earth. Coronal holes arise when solar magnetic fields disappear, releasing massive amounts of plasma into space.

3. Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) have caused geomagnetic storms on Earth twice in 2023, resulting from two subsequent CMEs combining. These unusual events become more common at solar maximum.

4. Towering Solar Tornado:
Astronomers marveled at a massive fire tornado near the sun’s north pole in March. This 14-times-taller solar tornado, created by a trapped solar prominence, released plasma into space.

5. ‘Canyon of Fire’ Eruption:
A solar explosion on Halloween night formed a “canyon of fire” on the sun’s surface twice as broad as the continental U.S. and seven times longer than Earth. Plasma avoided Earth, despite scientists’ concerns.

6. ‘Impossible’ Orange Auroras:
As CMEs increased, hundreds of aurora displays occurred worldwide, including uncommon orange ones. Red and green auroras coincide wonderfully with these shows.

7. Massive Polar Vortex:
In February, a plasma vortex circled the sun’s north pole for the first time. The vortex forms when a solar prominence breaks off and becomes caught near the sun.

8. ‘Sunspot Archipelago’ Bombardment:
A 15-Earth-sized sunspot region formed in November, releasing dozens of solar flares and causing geomagnetic storms.

9. Weird Plasma Waterfall:
An unusual solar polar crown prominence, resembling a gigantic plasma cascade, erupted in March, raising doubts about its genesis and behavior.

10. On March 10, a rare “butterfly” coronal mass ejection burst from the sun’s far side, forming symmetrical wings.

READ ALSO: After 2 years in space, the James Webb telescope has broken cosmology. Can it be fixed?

Solar events pose issues and challenges

This year 2023, solar activity has increased as the sun approaches its explosive peak in its 11-year cycle, known as the solar maximum.

Thus, our home star has been releasing tremendous solar storms and other odd events.

Though impressive, these solar events pose issues and challenges for sun scientists.

READ ALSO: 10 solar storms that blew us away in 2023

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