Published On: Mon, Oct 19th, 2015

NASA’s spacecraft captures hole in the sun big enough to gobble up 50 earths

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Coronal Hole in Sun’s Outer Layer is Big Enough to Fit 50 Earths

NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory has released a new image of the giant coronal hole on the topmost layer of the sun. The researchers say that the hole and its magnetic field is letting off ultrafast solar wind.

The hole was captured by the observatory on Oct. 10 at an ultraviolet wavelength that cannot be seen with the naked eye. According to the experts, the solar winds released from the coronal hole are the reason behind several nights of auroras that the Earth has been experiencing.

Scientists said that these coronal holes become cooler and lower-density than the rest of the corona and emits solar winds in outer space at great speeds. Series of aurora is produced when a fast stream of solar material strikes Earth’s magnetosphere. The collision between the particles causes charged particles to race down the magnetic field into the atmosphere, which further creates light seen as aurora. Despite of seeing beautiful aurora display, the solar storms can cause damage to radio communications and satellite systems.

The hole in the magnetic field of the sun had been releasing a stream of particles capable of moving at a speed of 500 miles per hour. When these ultrafast streams of particles combine with the weakened solar magnetic field, high-energy solar winds are formed.

The experts say that the solar winds in turn take the form of geomagnetic storms on Earth. These storms result in auroras or “northern lights” that are typically observed to the northernmost regions. However, sometimes, auroras can also be observed toward the south. The geomagnetic storms end up disrupting navigation, radio communication and power on the planet.

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