Powerful sunspot makes third trip around the sun: NASA

A giant sunspot appeared on Feb. 25, 2014, for its third trip across the face of the sun. This...

A giant sunspot appeared on Feb. 25, 2014, for its third trip across the face of the sun. This blend of two images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sunspot in visible light and an X-class flare observable in ultraviolet light. (Photo: NASA/SDO/Goddard Space Flight Center)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:56 PM ET

A sunspot that has already caused two significant solar flares is making its third trip across the sun, NASA says.

Sunspots, which are a magnetically strong and complex regions on the sun's surface, normally only last a couple of weeks, but can be stable for many months at a time, NASA said. It takes a sunspot 27 days to rotate the sun.

The two flares already produced by this sunspot have been labelled X-class, the strongest kind of flare. It has also produced a number of mid-level and smaller flares.

While solar flares can increase the activity of the northern lights to the delight of photographers and people who live in areas that normally cannot see them, the flares can also disrupt satellites and interfere with cellphone and television signals.


Videos

Photos