There is a huge black spot going across the sun, and it is something that will be affecting the earth sometime this week.
This black spot is known as a coronal hole, and while it sounds like something scary out of a sci-fi movie, it’s really not that bad.
According to Insider, a coronal hole is not really a hole at all.
It is a spot on the sun that appears to be dark, because it is cooler than the rest of the sun.
Coronal holes are actually a pretty common occurrence. This one is just super big, and it has the potential to disrupt some things on earth.
The current coronal hole, the big one right now, is about 300,000 to 400,000 kilometers across — That is about 20-30 Earths lined up back-to-back.Alex Young, associate director for science at NASA Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division
These big dark spots on the sun cause rapid solar winds. When I say “rapid,” I mean they can get up to 500-800 km per second.
Man, I thought tornadoes were scary. These solar winds laugh in the face of tornadoes and hurricanes.
We will probably start seeing the effects of the high-speed wind on March 24 — 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, associate director for science at NASA Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division
So, how exactly is this coronal hole going to affect earth?
Only a relatively small number of people are even going to notice the effects of this coronal hole.
While other activities on the sun — like solar flares — can cause disruption to the power grid, and blackouts here on earth, the coronal hole — even though it releases pretty gnarly winds — is relatively mild in comparison.
The most earth will probably see resulting from this massive coronal hole is a more vibrant aurora borealis.
I’m pretty jealous. I live in an area of the country that never sees the aurora borealis. It would be pretty amazing to see this natural phenomenon in person!
If you live in an area that sees the aurora borealis on the frequent, I want to see pictures!