Dueling sunspots show off Jupiter-like faces, with blasts hurled from the west and east

A strong solar flare erupted Thursday from a highly active region in the sun’s right hemisphere, according to a tweet from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The solar flare was not an eruption of a huge explosion into space but more like the type of flare from an ordinary, fairly active region in space. NASA said Friday the same region can be expected to erupt again on Halloween.

“Since a solar flare is a single point of energy emitted from the sun’s surface, that energy is expected to interact with the magnetic field of the region and produce a short-lived coronal mass ejection, which is a stream of superhot plasma and charged particles,” NASA said.

The geomagnetic storm watch also includes space weather warnings from the federal government and NASA.

“Like a shot gun, a coronal mass ejection from a sunspot region could move across the solar corona and towards Earth, producing a geomagnetic storm,” NOAA said. “That event is expected to occur during the Oct. 31 peak of our geomagnetic peak which occurs on Oct. 22.”

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