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A 2nd giant ‘hole’ appears on the sun, could trigger more amazing aurora – National

A giant ‘hole’, up to 20 times larger than Earth, has appeared on the sun’s surface for the second time in a week, and scientists warn it could hit our planet.

Last week, Earth saw the results of its worst solar storm in six years when a G4 class geomagnetic event took place illuminated the Canadian sky with aurorasmany of which were visible as far away as New Mexico in the USA

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Did you see it? Vivid Northern Lights illuminate the skies over much of Canada

Now researchers say this new coronal hole could be sending solar winds down to Earth at speeds of up to 1.8 million miles per hour by the end of the week.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory discovered the coronal holewhich is a perfectly normal phenomenon, but the placement of that particular hole makes it unique.

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“This is special because it’s near the Sun’s equator,” Daniel Scharen, associate professor of space and climate physics at University College London, told SkyNews.

“As the Sun rotates, an equatorial coronal hole may eventually point toward Earth.”

Coronal holes, NASA says, are usually harmless but can affect Earth’s magnetic field, technology and satellites. High altitude radio transmissions and satellite communications may be temporarily disrupted. In addition, very large flares have the ability to overload electrical systems, disrupt aircraft flight, and shut down power supplies.

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Aurora Hunting: Where and when to see the Northern Lights

They can also create auroras that are more visible to the naked eye.

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Scharen told Insiders that fast winds from this particular coronal hole are likely “to hit Earth from Friday night through Saturday morning of this week.”

The appearance of this latest hole has prompted the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to issue a warning and an additional chance to spot Northern Lights.

“Arctic auroras are likely when the solar wind hits,” reads a warning on

Coronal holes are not literal holes in the Sun, but rather large areas that are significantly cooler than the rest of the star. They occur in places where the Sun’s magnetic field lines do not close, but instead jut out into space, leaving room for the solar wind.

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According to NASA, the Sun goes through cycles of activity, and right now the Sun is at its most active and is therefore producing more coronal holes than usual.

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Northern Lights dance across the BC skies, delighting photographers

The Sun’s solar activity has been increasing since December 2019, leading to an increase in sunspots and solar flares, and is expected to peak in 20Centre County Report.

And while this particular solar activity could make for some stunning aurora viewing this weekend, scientists predict it won’t be as widely visible as last week’s incredible display of the aurora borealis.

Pilot Matt Melnyk spotted the Northern Lights on Thursday, March 23, 2023 while flying from Las Vegas to Calgary.

Courtesy: Matt Melnyk

Last week, multiple coronal mass ejections occurred at about the same time as the hold was facing Earth, resulting in a major geomagnetic storm.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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