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Coronal Hole ’30 Times Earth’s Size’ Hurls Solar Plasma Towards Earth

Coronal Hole ’30 Times Earth’s Size’ Hurls Solar Plasma Towards Earth

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory released a photo showing a massive coronal hole forming in the sun’s atmosphere, ejecting a stream of fast-moving solar winds toward Earth.

“The current coronal hole, the big one right now, is about 300,000 to 400,000 kilometers across,” Alex Young, the associate director for science at NASA Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division, told Bussiness Insider. He said, “that’s about 20-30 Earths lined up back-to-back.”

Young said coronal holes unleash solar winds that can travel between 500-800 km per second. He explained the coronal mass ejection would reach Earth by Friday.

“We will probably start seeing the effects of the high-speed wind on March 24.

“When the high-speed wind reaches Earth, the particles and the magnetic field it carries will interact with Earth’s magnetic field, effectively rattling it or like ringing a bell,” he said. 

Space Weather website SolarHam said when the solar winds hit Earth, it will produce a moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm.

Here’s a visual of the CME’s impacts on modern society.

In addition to this week’s geomagnetic storm risk, Sunspot Cycle 25 has already started and is anticipated to be active. This could spell trouble for the digital economy, as disruptions caused by solar flares may lead to economic harm.

Last year, Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink lost 40 satellites after a geomagnetic storm knocked them out of orbit.

NASA detects enormous ‘coronal hole’ on Sun’s South Pole (PHOTO) — RT News

NASA detects enormous ‘coronal hole’ on Sun’s South Pole (PHOTO) — RT News.

A giant dark hole has appeared on the sun’s flaming surface, a recently-taken NASA picture has revealed. So far, scientists are stumped by why this spectacular phenomenon, known as a “coronal hole,” occurs.

The Sun starts 2015 with an enormous coronal hole near the South Pole,” scientists of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory wrote in their blog, having posted a picture of the flaming sun with a gaping dark space in its lower part.

READ MORE: Spectacular space: The most stunning, mind-boggling photos & videos of 2014!

What modern science knows is that “coronal holes” are places where particles leave the sun’s surface at huge speeds – of up to 500 miles per hour (800 kilometers per hour). What’s still unclear is why this is happening.

The sun’s glowing comes from the “trapped” particles. The coronal holes “contain little solar material, have lower temperatures, and therefore, appear much darker.”

The first pictures of the phenomenon were taken by NASA astronauts in the early 1970s.

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