SonicSpike shares a report from Space.com: A giant cloud of magnetized plasma exploded from a sunspot hidden on the far side of the sun that might turn to face Earth only two days from now, so get ready for some solar fireworks. The explosion that erupted from behind the sun’s eastern edge in the early morning of Tuesday (Jan. 3) was a so-called coronal mass ejection (CME), a burst of particles from the sun’s upper atmosphere, or corona. The CME was accompanied by a powerful solar flare that lasted an overwhelming six hours, solar scientist Keith Strong said on Twitter. Neither the flare nor the CME were directed at Earth, but experts warn that the hidden sunspot that produced them will soon be facing the planet as the sun rotates.
Yesterday’s flare and CME were detected by multiple sun-observing spacecraft including the joint NASA/European Space Agency Solar and Heliospheric Observatory mission (SOHO) and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The measurements helped scientists to determine that the sunspot, or active region, that produced the bursts, will move to the Earth-facing portion of the sun’s disk within two days, according to Space Weather. […] The British space weather forecaster Met Office predicts low solar activity in the next couple of days with a potential increase expected toward the end of this week as the mysterious sunspot emerges at the sun’s eastern edge.