Images released by NASA show a massive hole in the Sun, 50 times the size of Earth, which is blasting an ultrafast solar wind towards our planet.
The image of the Coronal hole was taken be NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory at an ultraviolet wavelength which is unseen to the human eye.
The hole is actually a gap in the Sun’s magnetic field and emits a stream of particles traveling at up to 800 kilometers per second that “created a geomagnetic storm near Earth that resulted in several nights of aurora,” earlier in the month, said NASA.
Coronal holes usually form over the Sun’s polar regions and when the star is at a less active point in its 11-year cycle.
They are actually vast regions within the Sun’s outer layer, the corona, with lower temperatures and density and a weaker magnetic field which allows a release of plasma and particles.
When fired towards the earth they can result in a geomagnetic storm that can have an adverse affect on satellites’ power, navigation, and radio communication on the planet.
Geomagnetic storms also enhance Northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, the radiant auroras that sometimes occur in the night sky over our planets’ northernmost reaches, making them brighter.
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