April 23, 2024

Coronal Holes

  • NASA scientists have spotted a massive coronal hole on the Sun, which is 20 times larger than Earth, unleashing solar winds towards Earth.
    • Solar winds impact Earth’s magnetic field, satellites and technology.
  • Solar winds also lead to generation of aurora at higher latitudes on Earth.

Coronal Holes

  • Coronal holes are areas which appear dark in solar corona in extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray solar images.
  • These are regions on the sun’s surface from where fast solar wind gushes out into space.
  • In these regions, the magnetic field is open to interplanetary space, sending solar material out in a high-speed stream of solar wind i.e. geomagnetic storm.
  • They have lower temperatures and appear much darker than their surroundings as they contain little solar material.
  • Coronal holes can last between a few weeks to months.
  • The holes are not a unique phenomenon, appearing throughout the sun’s approximately 11-year solar cycle. They can last much longer during solar minimum, a period of time when activity on the Sun is substantially diminished.
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