The state weather bureau on Thursday released images of three large sunspot groups it took on Thursday, as the sun was entering the “solar maximum” phase of its current solar cycle.
In a social media post, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said sunspots were cooler areas of the sun’s surface that appeared darker than their surroundings.
“These patches are roughly the size of Earth, or about 20-40 times larger than a typical spot,” it said.
The agency said there would be an increased amount of solar activity during this period, including additional sunspots and frequent solar flares.
According to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA, solar flares are powerful bursts of energy from the sun that could impact “radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.”
PAGASA warned the public against looking at the sun directly. People should only look at it with a special filter to protect their eyes, it said.