Solar Breeze Sunday

A HOLE IN THE SUN’S ATMOSPHERE: A large hole in the sun’s atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind in our direction. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory is monitoring the structure, shown here in a false-color UV image taken on Dec. 6th:

The hole (technical term: “coronal hole”) is so large it almost completely bisects the solar disk, stretching more than a million km across the sun’s equator.

We’ve seen this coronal hole before. It has been spinning around with the sun, lashing Earth with solar wind approximately once a month since September. Last month, the lashing commenced on Nov. 9th, lasted for alnost 3 days, and caused sharp tremors in the geomagnetic field. Solar winds blowing faster than 600 km/s sparked an explosion of Phoenix-shaped auroras over Norway:

“The display over Senja, Norway, on Nov. 11th was nothing short of magical,” recalls photographer Adrien Mauduit. “Huge colorful pillars took the shape of a fiery bird.”

The same stream of solar wind will return on Dec. 8th or 9th and it may be even more potent this time because the underlying coronal hole has hrown larger in the intervening month. Arctic sky watchers, mark your calendars and warm your cameras. The Phoenix might rise again.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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17 Responses to Solar Breeze Sunday

  1. Micki says:

    Yesterday, I received this from a physician who suggested that I circulate it to help dispel the harmful MYTHS of effectiveness of CPR (as depicted on TV and many movies)…

    This was written and illustrated by a physician.

    It’s outstanding, IMO!


  2. °¿º Carol says:

    Same kind of day here, cold but sunny. It got down to 4° during the night.

    My poor eyes getting a check-up Wednesday. Jill is taking me.

    Out of tomatoes, and ran out of stamps for my Christmas cards. They’ve had my car for 20 days now and I’m getting antsy. They said I would get it back Friday Dec. 14, I hope so. That leaves me just one week left before Christmas. Need to round up the ingredients for all the foods I’m going to make.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    Something just happened.


  4. jimhitchcock says:

    ‘You know, the Patriot Act was pretty good, but we should go much further.’

    -William Barr


  5. jimhitchcock says:

    ‘You know, the Patriot Act was pretty good, but we should go much further.’

    -William Barr


  6. David B. Benson says:

    Standard 16 minutes to the Hillside Cafe.


  7. David B. Benson says:

    Europe or you’re down. 😐


  8. Den says:

    Carpet thief?


  9. David B. Benson says:



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