A “hole” has occurred in the sun, called the coronal hole, which is 20 times larger than Earth. The coronal hole is pushing solar winds of 2.9 million km/h toward Earth that was said to hit the planet on 31st March.
The situation is under careful monitoring by scientists to find out whether the solar winds will affect Earth’s magnetic field and satellites that will indirectly affect the internet, mobile phone networks, and GPS.
According to experts, coronal holes do not pose a threat, and are usually found at the poles of the sun. The holes are cooler, develop on the less dense areas of the sun, and occur during the remotely active stage of the star’s 11-year cycle.
Commenting on this event, NASA said, “Coronal holes are magnetically open areas that are one source of the high-speed solar wind. They appear dark when viewed in many wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, such as seen here. At times, the solar wind can generate aurora at higher latitudes on Earth.”
Both the holes were captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, with the first one appearing on March 23. The first coronal hole produced auroras further down south than earlier, turning the skies electric purple and green over Arizona.
Coronal holes range from G1 to G5, with G1 as the least powerful. The first hole was said to be a G3. The second hole is not expected to cause a strong solar storm as the first one, so not many auroras will appear.
However, scientists note that it has appeared close to the star’s equator.
The location where the hole appeared is “very interesting”, Daniel Verscharen, an associate professor of space and climate physics at University College London said.Talking to Business Insider, New York based multinational financial and business news website, he said, “The shape of this coronal hole is not particularly special. However, its location makes it very interesting. I would expect some fast wind from that coronal hole to come to Earth around Friday night into Saturday morning of this week.”