The phenomenon, controlled by NOAA in intensity, will produce the brightest northern lights in unusual latitudes.
As experts have just confirmed, a new gigantic coronal hole has opened in the Sun. It is the size of the thirty worlds and the arrival, this very weekend, of a veritable avalanche of charged solar particles that arise. to category G1 and G2 geomagnetic storms. that is, the average intensity of the storm. As reported by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Space Weather Prediction Center, the wave of solar particles that has already hit our planet could exceed 600 km/s speed.
Despite its spectacular nature, scientists say, its main effect will be limited to the appearance of the northern lights in unusual latitudes. “The coronal current is between 300,000 and 400,000 kilometers in diameter,” explains scientist Alex Young of NASA’s Division of Heliophysical Sciences. “And it lined up between 20 and 30 lands one after another.” NASA astronomers discovered the hole on March 20, when a huge dark spot appeared in the center of the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
Coronal holes, despite their name, are not true empty holes, but cooler, and therefore darker, areas in the sun’s atmosphere. When these “holes” open up in the corona (the sun’s aether) they allow a larger stream of charged particles to flow, a phenomenon we know as the solar wind. That stream of particles was blasted into space at high speed, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the hole is running with winds of more than 2 million kilometers per hour.
As experts explain, when these particularly strong ones collide with the Earth, the planetary magnetic shield and trigger events that they call “geomagnetic storms” can often cause electronic devices to malfunction, radios, or even power outages. But even the Northern Lights shows are far from the places where they usually take place. In the coming months, and as it approaches maximum (expected 2025), the Sun increases its activity. For example, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recently detected a giant “tornado” over the sun’s north pole.
In addition to these days, scientists see the Sun’s boiling plasma rising above its surface, reaching a maximum height of 14 Earths, about 120,000 kilometers, on March 18. Two days later, a huge coronal hole appeared. The effects of the storm were already noticeable on Friday and continued through Saturday. Fortunately, experts point out that taking some time off, this time is not expected to take a toll.