Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/21/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Coronal hole may spark geomagnetic storms on Earth.

Why is there a freaking hole in the freaking sun?! According to NASA, a massive coronal hole has spread out to cover almost a quarter of the sun. The solar wind from this hole is expected to buffet the Earth  over the weekend and could spark high-latitude geomagnetic storms.

This image from NASA shows the coronal hole, which is the dark portion in the upper left.

This image from NASA shows the coronal hole, which is the dark portion in the upper left.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/21/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Sun, hole, corona, aurora


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A coronal hole is a hole in the sun's atmosphere, and the first one was observed by astronauts onboard Skylab in the 1970s. They are a normal part of the Sun's dynamic weather, but holes of this size are very rare.

Normally, the sun's magnetic field keeps everything contained, but the sun has a very twisted and chaotic magnetic field with multiple poles, unlike the Earth and other less dynamic objects which have only two poles. This is because the sun isn't a solid object, but rather a seething ball of constantly exploding hydrogen gas.

Occasionally, those magnetic fields will tangle and arrange themselves in such a way as to leave a hole in the sun's corona, and through that hole the solar wind - material belonging to the sun that is blown about space, will stream through the hole at about 500 miles per second.

When this happens, the solar wind becomes more of a solar blizzard of fast-moving, highly charged particles.

If this unusually strong wind strikes the Earth's magnetic field, it can bend and distort it in such a way as to make geomagnetic storms more severe. Geomagnetic storms occur when the Earth is bathed extraordinary quantities of solar radiation from these charged particles, which are the phenomenon behind the aurora, or northern and southern lights.

This radiation does not hurt people on Earth, as the planet is protected by its own magnetic field that acts as a shield. However, those energetic particles can transfer energy to power grids on the ground and can overload electrical networks. Typically, power providers compensate for these events, since they can be predicted. The surge in charged particles around the Earth can also affect satellites and even astronauts if they should exit their craft for spacewalks.

The current stream of solar wind approaching Earth is expected to hit on June 22 or 23. High latitude skywatchers will likely be treated to a beautiful display of aurora. The rest of us will notice nothing out of the ordinary.

However, for NASA scientists, a hole that is alost the size of a quarter of the sun's atmosphere is pretty freaking huge, and worth a look.

Unfortunately, you and I cannot see the hole without special equipment, but NASA sure can, and oh my is it impressive!

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Technology

A NEW EARTH? Astronomers discover remarkably similar planet to our own Watch

Image of The Goldilocks zone, or habitable zone, is the belt around a star where temperatures are ideal for liquid water to pool on a planet's surface.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Astronomers have announced that they have found a planet that is remarkably similar to Earth. Called Kepler-186f, the planet 1.1 times the size of Earth orbiting a star - "only" 490 light years away. Kepler-186f is the first planet discovered with the right ... continue reading


EYES TO THE HEAVENS: Astronomers say there may be a 'new Saturn moon' Watch

Image of The disturbance in the edge of the ring is 20 percent brighter than its surroundings and about 750 miles long and six miles wide.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All eyes are on the heavens as astronomers theorize that another moon for the ringed planet of Saturn may be on its way. If the heavenly body in the rings of Saturn is confirmed, it would make for the planet's 63rd moon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


IS THE SECOND COMING NIGH? Four blood moons this year all occur on Jewish holidays Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As climate change wreaks havoc worldwide, and relations between the U.S. and Russia reach a low point over Ukraine, some Christians say that the phenomenon of the "Blood moon" may mean that Christ's return is rapidly approaching. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Will Alibaba devour Facebook? China's massive Alibaba is coming to conquer the United States Watch

Image of Yahoo's dominance has since dwindled as Alibaba has since grown into a global powerhouse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ali Baba for those in the west usually means the storybook leader of a gang of fearless, 40 thieves. But this will soon change. A massive e-commerce site from China, Alibaba, with revenue larger than Amazon and eBay combined has decided to go public in the ... continue reading


Drone images reveal more about mysterious buried village in New Mexico Watch

Image of Drone images have captured fascinating new details about a buried Native American village in New Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drone images have captured fascinating new details about a buried Native American village in New Mexico. Thermal images captured by the small drone allowed archaeologists to peer under the surface of the desert floor, revealing never-before-seen structures. LOS ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' gun fires shells seven times the speed of sound through concrete -- 100 miles away Watch

Image of The rail gun will be mounted on high-speed vessel the USNS Millinocket for sea trials in 2016.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A futuristic lethal new weapon capable of firing a shell at seven times the speed of sound has since been successfully tested on land. Conjuring up images of iconic sci-fi villains as Darth Vader, researchers have called the new rail gun as being of 'Star Wars' ... continue reading


KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK? Internet search engines exhibiting double standards Watch

Image of An old cliche -- that bears repeating --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Certain cliché sayings come to mind: The kettle calling the pot black, having one's cake and eating it too . Google, along with Facebook and Yahoo have come down hard on the Obama administration for information gathering - but NOW don't want their ... continue reading


Scientists discover massive asteroid hit Earth so hard that oceans evaporated Watch

Image of Earth was struck several times by massive asteroids billions of years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists from Stanford University say they have found evidence of another cataclysmic cosmic collision between Earth and another asteroid billions of years ago. This asteroid, they say, was so large it punched a hole in the Earth's crust and caused earthquakes around ... continue reading


Why is NASA rejecting definitive proof of life on Mars? Watch

Image of Curiosity recently captures this image that shows light on the ground on Mars. NASA thinks it's just a glint off rock or some other similar anomaly.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Curiosity rover has photographed what appears to be light emanating from the ground on Mars. UFO and alien life enthusiasts as well as conspiracy theorists have all claimed the light is evidence of life on the Red Planet. NASA however, is not so sure. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


HANG ON TOTO! Astronomers calculate the speed of the Universe's expansion Watch

Image of Hang on! The universe is expanding at 1 percent per 44 million years, which is fast if you consider the size of the universe is at least 46 billion years in radius!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hold on to your hat, Toto, we're about to leave Kansas. Astronomers say they have calculated the expansion rate of the universe and their discovery is very surprising. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers have long been interested in measuring the expansion ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter