Dark Side of the Sun

Whelp, the sun has a giant hole in it.

A colossal dark hole was recently spotted on the sun’s surface, and it has been spewing solar wind our way. According to NASA, the high-speed wind triggered a light show of several auroras on Earth.

A photo of the “coronal hole” (below) was taken by a camera aboard the space agency’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct. 10:

The hole is located on the outermost layer of the sun, called the corona (thus the name), in the sun’s northern hemisphere. It is about the size of 50 Earths and is releasing wind at up to 500 miles per second.

When solar winds reach Earth, it can disturb the magnetosphere and cause geomagnetic storms. While such storms create beautiful auroras and can also affect satellite and radio communication systems.

NASA scientists haven’t indicated whether the recently spotted hole will stick around for Halloween, but coronal holes can last for months.


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