US News Three Vast 'Holes' Just Appeared on the Sun—and They're Bombarding Earth with Geomagnetic Storms

05:00  13 april  2018
05:00  13 april  2018 Source:

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Coronal holes have opened up on the solar surface, sending geomagnetic storms in our direction. Holes on the Sun might sounds a bit scary, but they ' re very common, particularly during the solar minimum.

Just like the weather, there's not a lot we can do about solar disturbances, except perhaps to know they ' re coming and then to endure the effects. During a geomagnetic storm ("geo" means Earth , in Greek), we may experience extraordinary radio noise and interference, especially at HF.

The Sun © Catalyst Images The Sun Three vast “holes” have opened up on the Sun over the past week, according to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), allowing high-speed solar winds to escape into space and bombard the Earth.

These so-called coronal holes are gaps in the star’s outermost atmosphere, which are less dense and cooler than their surroundings. Magnetic field images released by the SDO show huge dark patches on the Sun’s surface, indicating their location.

The sun shines down on a field © Catalyst Images The sun shines down on a field The holes spew out charged particles which can affect animals and electronic systems on Earth, and cause auroras to appear at lower latitudes than normal if they interact with the magnetosphere—the region around our planet dominated by its magnetic field.

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They would be dangerous to unshielded astronauts, say, astronauts traveling to the moon. Large doses could be fatal. Still, solar storms – and their effects – are no problem for us on Earth ’s surface. The storm on the sun causes a type of storm on the Earth , known as a geomagnetic storm .

In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. With the sun going nova, more harmful ultra-violets are going to bombard the Earth .

a star filled sky: 3_coronal_holes © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 3_coronal_holes "A stream of high-speed solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, and this is causing G1-class geomagnetic storms around the poles, reported on April 11. "Auroras have been sighted in the USA as far south as the Dakotas. The gaseous material is flowing from a wide hole in the sun's atmosphere—so wide that the stream could influence Earth for another two to three days."

For April 12, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center have issued an alert saying there is a 50 percent chance of a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm.

A G1-class storm is the lowest on the NOAA’s space weather scale, but these events still have the potential to cause minor disruption to power grids, satellite operations and migratory animals. But on the plus side, sky watchers in the northern United States, such as northern Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota and Maine, will have a higher chance of witnessing an aurora.

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The charged particles bombarding Earth 's atmosphere during solar storms would punch holes in Earth 's atmosphere, and this could hurt humans. (That time, the lead-up to a geomagnetic reversal appears to have been "aborted"; the field weakened but didn't end up flipping.)

via Daily Mail: An elongated coronal hole stretching across the face of the sun sent solar wind particles gushing toward Earth last week. This past fall, solar winds triggered a giant geomagnetic storm , raising fears that they could cripple power supplies.

Illustration of Earth and the Sun © Catalyst Images Illustration of Earth and the Sun  For much of this week the sun featured three substantial coronal holes (Apr. 3-6, 2018). Coronal holes appear as large dark areas which are identified with arrows in the still image. Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA. 

Coronal holes can develop at any time and location on the Sun but are more common and persistent during the years around solar minimum (the next one minimum is expected between 2019 and 2020). Solar minimum is the period of least activity in the 11-year cycle of the Sun, when the number of sunspots and solar flares diminishes. These stand in contrast to the solar maximum, during which time hundreds of sunspots may appear.

Related: Planet Hunter in Search of New Worlds (Associated Press )

Nasa Can't Explain Images of Strange Ice Circles in Arctic Sea .
There's no clear explanation for these mysterious ice holes.NASA’s Operation IceBridge mission scientist John Sonntag captured the images on April 14, marking in his field log, “I don’t recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere,” NASA reported. The holes were noted about 50 miles northwest of Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta, and although the main purpose of the trip was to make observations of sea ice, somehow the mysterious holes became the highlight of the trip.

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