Earth Directed Coronal Hole

Image Credit: SDO/NASA

Image Credit: SDO/NASA

September 28, 2016 – A dark coronal hole that was facing towards Earth for several days spewed streams of solar wind in the direction of Earth from September 18-21, 2016.

The Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, issued a G2 (Moderate) Geomagnetic Storm Watch for 28-30 September 2016 due to effects from the anticipated arrival of a high speed stream from this recurrent coronal hole. This feature was responsible for G2 conditions during its last rotation and is expected to behave similarly this week. Conditions are expected to reach G2 on 29 and 30 September before gradually decreasing in intensity to G1 (Minor) storm levels on 01 October.

The video clip (above) shows the sun in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light.

A coronal hole is a magnetically open region. The magnetic fields have opened up allowing solar wind (comprised of charged particles) to stream into space. Gusts of solar wind can generate beautiful aurora when they reach Earth.

Image Credit: SWPC

Image Credit: SWPC

Goddard Space Flight Center built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. SDO is the first mission of NASA’s Living with a Star Program. SDO includes an instrument built in partnership with the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and another built by Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, California.