Sun firing solar wind at Earth from 12,000-mile-deep ‘canyon of fire’ this week

A huge 'canyon of fire' has been unleashed on the surface of the sun, spitting hot solar winds towards our home planet with more to come this week.

Magnetised gusts coming from the fiery development on the gas giant could also bring aurora light displays to Earth.

The deep canyon is thought to be a huge 12,400 miles deep — which is about one thousand miles longer than the distance from London to New Zealand.

A first blast from the phenomenon on the sun's surface took place last Sunday (April 3), with a second also occurring on Monday (April 4). Another is expected this week.

A space weather activity forecast from the Met Office said that activity from the sun had been detected in the last few days: "At 04/2113 UTC a filament eruption occurred in the south central portion of the sun, with this event visible in extreme UV satellite imagery as well as near infrared ground-based telescopes.

"This event was tied to a small common-class flare, which has been analysed and shows an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME)."

A coronal mass ejection is regarded by astronomers as a 'significant' release of plasma and an accompanying magnetic field from the Sun's corona — its outer surface — in the form of solar winds which can travel across the galaxy.

The Met Office added that the first coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to arrive on Wednesday at 12pm GMT (1pm British Summer Time).

They are not yet sure whether Monday's second eruption would reach our planet.

A major CME is upgraded to an interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) when it is able to reach Earth.

These can cause problems with our planet's magnetosphere resulting in geomagnetic storms, stunning aurora displays such as the Northern Lights, and even damage to electrical power grids.

A solar storm in 1859 referred to as the Carrington Event caused fires at telegraph and electrical power stations worldwide.

It is not expected that the coming storm will bring any significant disruption.

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