HERE COMES THE SOLAR WIND (AGAIN): A wedge-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere has opened and it is spewing solar wind into space. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is monitoring the gap, shown here facing Earth on Nov. 12th:
This a a coronal hole–a region where the sun’s magnetic field peels back and allows solar wind to escape. An emerging stream of gaseous material is expected to reach Earth on Nov. 14th or 15th.
Fun fact: This coronal hole is connected to another coronal hole that lashed Earth with solar wind on Nov. 7th, sparking Northern Lights in the USA as far south as Nebraska. Could it happen again? NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the solar wind arrives. Auroras will probably be confined to the Arctic, but the events of Nov. 7th show that pleasant surprises are possible. Free: Aurora Alerts.