‘Cannibal CME’ sun storm marks rise of new solar cycle in space weather

The sun is waking up — and making sure we all know it.

On Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 3 and 4), Earth was hit with a sizeable geomagnetic storm, the result of a series of outbursts from the sun on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 1 and 2). Such outbursts are tied to sunspots, which are magnetic storms on the sun’s surface. Both sunspots and solar activity ebb and flow on a cycle stretching about 11 years, and this week’s storms are symptomatic of the sun’s current stage in that cycle.

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