‘Dead sunspot’ launches ball of plasma toward Earth

The “corpse” of a sunspot exploded Monday (April 11), triggering a mass ejection of solar material that is headed in Earth’s direction.

The explosion comes courtesy of a dead sunspot called AR2987, according to SpaceWeather.com (opens in new tab). The sunspot explosion released loads of energy in the form of radiation, which also led to a coronal mass ejection (CME) — explosive balls of solar material — both of which could spur more intense northern lights in Earth‘s upper atmosphere. The material in that CME is likely to impact Earth on April 14, according to SpaceWeather.

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