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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Solar leak heading our way

Coronal Hole     (NASA photo)
According to Sarah Lewin of, the “sun has sprung a leak.”  In other words, there’s a gigantic hole in its “topmost layer” and “magnetic field.”

Not only that, some of the resulting solar winds are heading our way.  This “ultrafast” whoosh may produce “a days-long geomagnetic storm” here on the home planet.

Such a storm could in turn cause problems with
satellites orbiting the Earth, as well as with radio communication.  On the literally bright side, it can also make for enhanced auroras, “as far down as Pennsylvania, Iowa and Oregon.”

What causes the sun to leak “plasma and charged particles” in this manner?  Normally, it occurs during the least active time within the 11-year solar cycle, and emanates from “areas within the sun’s outermost layer, called its corona, which are lower-density and cooler.”  


Copyright October 20, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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