NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory has detected a hole in the sun that produced high-speed solar winds forecast to slam Earth on March 24.
Happy #SunDay! This week’s space weather report includes 3 notable solar flares, 26 coronal mass ejections, and no geomagnetic storms. This video of the Sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory includes several bright coronal loops and an exciting eruption around 90 seconds in. pic.twitter.com/C7JlVZ7QbH
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) March 19, 2023
But don’t panic—it’s fine to look up. These solar holes and rapid-fire winds are relatively normal, although this particular hole is bigger than usual.
What does this mean for us Earthians? Expect to see a crazy light show of auroral displays, or Northern Lights, as far south as New York and Idaho, according to spaceweather.com.
“When the high-speed wind reaches Earth, the particles and the magnetic field it carries will interact with Earth’s magnetic field, effectively rattling it or like ringing a bell,” Alex Young, the associate director for science at NASA Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division, told Insider.
Really strong solar storms will occasionally short out satellites or affect electrical power supplies.
In 1989, the entire province of Quebec, Canada, experienced a blackout as a result of a solar storm.
What is a coronal hole?
The coronal “hole,” which is 25 to 30 times the size of the earth, is actually not a hole at all but rather an opening in the sun‘s magnetic field. These regions are darker because they’re cooler and less dense than the rest of the sun.
This unusual magnetic field allows solar winds to escape, resulting in streams of fast solar wind, often referred to as high-speed streams.