A shock wave barreled toward Earth last night that cracked its magnetosphere, the region that shields our planet from harmful radiation.
The origin of the shockwave is unknown, but astronomers believe it came from an ejection of energetic and highly magnetized, superheated gas released from the sun – also known as a coronal mass ejection (CME).
The ejection may have been released from sunspot AR3165, which launched at least eight solar flares into space on December 14 that caused blackouts over the Atlantic Ocean, according to Space Weather.
While scientists are not sounding the alarm just yet, a crack can stay open for hours and let solar winds flow through.
The sunspot was observed crackling on December 14 and then released an M6-class explosion that hit Earth.