This week, the giant sunspot on the sun's surface has been unnervingly calm, which has some astronomers concerned that a massive solar outburst may be developing.
Dr. Tony Phillips, a retired astronomer with NASA, asks on SpaceWeather.com, "Could it be the quiet before the storm?
The AR3089 sunspot has been quiet, but that doesn't mean it's going away.
. It has instead "built a delta-class magnetic field that stores energy for X-class solar flares," according to Phillips.
Although it is the strongest class of flare, the X-class has a lot of variance.
which, at its most extreme, can generate as much energy as a trillion hydrogen bombs.
Fortunately, the Earth's magnetosphere's powerful output spares us any biological damage.