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Gigantic hole appears on the surface of the SUN - and it could have consequences for Earth

Mirror logo Mirror 13/07/2017 Jeff Parsons
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(Video provided by Wochit News)

A massive hole has been spotted on the surface of the sun and scientists believe it could have an effect here on Earth.

At 75,000 miles wide, the dark spot on our parent star is bigger than the diameter of our planet and - if you've got a good enough telescope - can be seen from Earth.

The hole is actually a gigantic storm that was picked up by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The space agency has labelled it AR2665 and believes it is capable of producing huge solar flares as the magnetic energy builds up and is released.

Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty

These solar flares send huge amounts of radiation out into the solar system and can stretch as far as Earth - potentially knocking out our radio signals for momentary periods. It may also have an effect on power grids and lead to electricity shortages in some places.

Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground. However, when intense enough, they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communication signals travel.

"A new sunspot group has rotated into view and seems to be growing rather quickly," NASA said in a statement.

"It could be the source for some solar flares, but it is too early to predict just what it will do.

"It is the first sunspot to appear after the sun was spotless for two days, and it is the only sunspot group on the sun at this moment."

The biggest sunspot on the face of the sun in more than two decades unleashed a major flare on October 24th, the fourth intense solar storm from the active star in less than a week. We have a look at some stunning images of some solar flares taken over time. Stunning solar flare images
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