In five days, what has been called a “benevolent monster” will turn to face Earth.
A region of the sun containing “dozens of sunspots, including one that is the size of 17 Earths,” will, like the Death Star taking aim at the Rebel Alliance’s base at Yavin IV, slowly point toward our planet within the next five days.
The area is described as “the most active part of the sun since 2005.”
Solar cycles occur about every 11 years, and have been observed since we began recording sunspot activity in 1755. The previous cycle reached its solar maximum in the year 2000, and the solar maximum of our current cycle, Solar Cycle 24, is predicted to occur in 2013.
Solar Cycle 24, by the way, began on January 8, 2008, and NOAA has stated it will contain a “below-average number of sunspots” and in fact be the weakest cycle since Solar Cycle 16 in 1928. According to Wikipedia, “The cycle continues to fall below predictions and is currently exhibiting 50% lower sunspot activity than predicted in May 2009.”
But then, perhaps it’s always calmest before the (electromagnetic)storm.