Scientists recently observed coronal holes in the sun. Here’s what they are and how they could affect you.
Understanding The Magnetic Sun
“The surface of the sun writhes and dances. Far from the still, whitish-yellow disk it appears to be from the ground, the sun sports twisting, towering loops and swirling cyclones that reach into the solar upper atmosphere, the million-degree corona – but these cannot be seen in visible light. Then, in the 1950s, we got our first glimpse of this balletic solar material, which emits light only in wavelengths invisible to our eyes.”
“Coronal holes appear as dark regions in the solar corona when observed in Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) and x-ray wavelengths. They appear dark because they have less material than surrounding areas. The magnetic structure of coronal holes is a unipolar open field topology, which allows the solar wind to escape more readily, and as a result coronal holes are the source of faster-than-normal solar wind. The fast solar wind from coronal holes can cause minor to moderate Geomagnetic Storms.”
Solar Flares (Radio Blackouts)
“Solar flares are large outbursts of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun lasting from minutes to hours. They are caused by magnetic reconnection associated with large-scale eruptions of magnetic flux called “coronal mass ejections” (CMEs).”
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