NASA Spots Giant Hole in Sun

Scientists have spotted a gigantic hole in the topmost layer of the Sun in pictures captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The hole, which is referred to as dark spot or coronal hole, is 50 times bigger than the Earth. What’s more, the magnetic field of the hole is releasing a super fast solar wind, which although harmless to humans, might interfere with certain high-altitude radio signals and a few satellite communications.

According to representatives of the NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), we will see the solar winds getting stronger as the coronal hole is continuously shifting westward on the surface of the Sun.

Earlier, the NOAA officials also predicted that auroras will be visible as far down as states like Pennsylvania, Oregon and Iowa. Also, they also said bright auroras will persist at least in areas surrounding the Arctic Circle.

Space physicist Leila Mays, who is currently posted at the Greenbelt, Maryland-based Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA, said that geometric storms resulting from high-speed solar winds are not very uncommon.

This particular solar storm made auroras visible from latitudes as low as the Caribbean Sea and Madrid. Here, it must be mentioned that the storm also resulted in fires in telegraph system facilities and power outages in all parts of North America and Europe.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory took images of the coronal hole at an ultraviolet wavelength, as a result of which one will not be able to see them in naked eye.

Auroras and geometric storms might also have some other causes, for instance, CMEs (coronal mass ejections) and solar flares. For those who don’t know: CMEs take place when materials are ejected outward from the sun due to augmented magnetic field activities.

The hole spotted in the newly captured images is cooler and lower in density; this feature that stand as testimonies of the weakened magnetic field, leads to the release of charged particles and plasma more quickly into solar winds.

The entire event got recorded at Hungary’s Tihany Magnetic Observatory. A research team representing the University of Alcala analyzed the failure of the official indices for detecting that event and is currently reporting on the probable consequences.

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