A HOLE IN THE SUN’S ATMOSPHERE–UPDATED: A large coronal hole is turning to face Earth, and it is spewing a complicated stream of solar wind toward our planet. This image from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the outlines of the structure on Oct. 22nd:
Coronal holes are places in the sun’s atmosphere where the magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. Big holes like this one typically appear once or twice a month.
According to NOAA computer models, the emerging stream of solar wind could reach Earth as early as Oct. 24th, although Oct. 25th is more likely. Because the stream is broad, it could influence our planet for 2 to 3 days, sparking polar geomagnetic storms and Arctic auroras for several nights in a row. Stay tuned for updates as the solar wind approaches.