Holy solar-driven demise, Batman. Look at those enormous sunspots.
1785 and 1787—the names for these two groups of spots—are pretty much staring earth in the face right now.
Sun spots are dark areas of intense magnetic activity that, when the activity gets super-intense, spit out energy in the form of solar flares or coronal mass ejections. The flares/ejections fire out clouds of magnetic energy and solar material into space.
And what happens when these things hit earth? Normally, we end up with more extreme aurora that are able to be seen at lower latitudes. But if the storm of magnetism is really strong, satellites can short out and power lines are disabled.
Considering we’re supposed to be at the peak of the current 11-year solar cycle, scientists are watching the spots carefully to see what, if any, flares and ejections they will emit
and how screwed all of us electricity-dependent people will be.