TECH

Biggest Sunspot In 24 Years Crosses The Sun

03/11/2014 10:55 GMT | Updated 03/11/2014 11:00 GMT

The biggest sunspot in almost a quarter of a century has been spotted blighting the sun in a frankly terrifying display of power and chemical doom.

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NASA said the sunspot grew between October 18 and 24, and was the largest region of intense magnetic fields in 24 years.

The sunspot ('AR 12192') blasted 10 solar flares but no coronal mass ejections, which was rare for a spot of its size.

Alex Young a solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said "you certainly can have flares without CMEs and vice versa, but most big flares do have CMEs. So we're learning that a big active region doesn't always equal the biggest events."

The technical measurement for the size of sunspots is micro-hemisphere, which is about 600,000 square miles. This sunspot made it to about 2,750 MH, which means it is the 33rd largest seen since 1874 and the biggest since November 18 1990.