The Sun is showing huge spots on its surface, alongside other structures.
One day soon, the structures – magnetic filaments that stretch far across the surface – could throw out debris towards Earth that would arrive as a solar flare.
Likewise, a growing and large sunspot has been spotted on the surface of the Sun, and could also throw out material that would affect life on Earth.
But they appear to be behaving so far, and there is no imminent indication that the regions on the Sun will become solar flares.
Some reports have indicated that the sunspots are “threatening” and that they could cause blackouts on Earth.
If the sunspots were to erupt in flares, then they could indeed affect satellites, GPS and power grids when they hit the Earth.
They are also facing towards Earth, which increases the threat from any flares.
The one huge sunspot has been named AR3055, which is more than 100,000 kilometres across. They appear as dark chunks on the Sun – showing so because they are relatively cold, though of course are still in fact intensely hot.
It is not clear how those active regions on the Sun first grew, and whether they have appeared newly for the first time or grew out of an existing and smaller spot.
Space weather conditions for now are entirely calm. The Space Weather Prediction Center at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates there have been no notable space weather observed.
The only space weather fluctuations it has tracked is a relatively small geomagnetic storm, which it ranks as minor. In such conditions, there can be weak power grid fluctuations, small impacts on the operation of satellites, and they can affect migratory animals and can lead to the northern lights.