The Hole

A hole about the size of 50 Earths has been found on the surface of the sun and has been spewing solar wind in our direction. The hole is located on the corona, the outermost layer of the sun, in the norther hemisphere. Coronal holes are often the source of faster-than normal solar winds, as they typically designate cooler areas on the sun. These regions have a lower density of solar material and weakened magnetic field lines—factors that make it easier for solar wind to escape. This one has been releasing solar winds with speeds up to 500 miles per second in the direction of the Earth.

The Effects

This coronal hole triggered several auroras on Earth in the previous week. Although such storms create spectacular auroras, or Northern Lights, they can also disrupt satellite and radio communication systems. When solar winds reach Earth they can disturb our planet's magnetosphere and cause geomagnetic storms. Forecasters are already expecting an increase in geomagnetic storms as they continue to monitor this hole.

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