A solar hole 30 times the size of Earth will cause geomagnetic storms this weekend

Magnetic storms are the main effects of fast solar winds from a coronal solar hole 300,000 to 400,000 kilometers wide.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recently identified a massive coronal hole near the south pole of the Sun. Alex Young, a scientist with the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explained that the current coronal hole is between 300,000 and 400,000 kilometers wide, which equates to between 20 and 30 distances terrestrial. -like planets lined up in a row.

Coronal holes appear as dark areas in the solar corona (outer part of the Sun’s atmosphere), because being cold regions and less dense than the surrounding plasma, they do not glow as brightly as in other areas of the great star.

At the same time, they are regions of open unipolar magnetic fields that allow solar wind to easily escape into space and drive fast-moving solar wind streams called “high-velocity currents”. According to Young, these currents can reach speeds between 500 and 800 kilometers per second (km/s).


The coronal hole will cause magnetic storms

Alex Young commented that people on Earth will begin to notice the effects of high-speed currents from Friday, as the particles and magnetic field carried by the solar wind will interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, causing temporary disturbances. . He also noted that magnetic fields from coronal holes are less violent than those from a coronal mass ejection, so a more vibrant aurora borealis should appear.

However, the Space Weather Forecast Center (SWPC) has issued warnings for geomagnetic storms, which are expected to occur between Thursday and Saturday this week. The SWPC clarified that “alerts are mainly due to the effects of high-velocity currents from the coronal foramen“.

A class G1 geomagnetic storm is expected to occur in the final hours of Thursday, while a class G2 geomagnetic storm is expected on Friday. He also pointed out that “the speed of the solar winds should exceed 600 km/s” and will continue until Saturday, resulting in a G1 storm.

G1 storms are relatively weak and usually cause only minor power grid fluctuations and disrupt some satellite functions, including those of mobile devices and GPS systems. It could also cause the Northern Lights. However, G2 storms typically cause voltage alarms on electrical systems at high altitudes and even damage the transformer if they last too long.



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