Holes in the sun. Not in the ozone, but in the sun: that gigantic burning sphere in the air that provides us with heat, but also indirectly with oxygen. In short, very important to be economical. Now it appears that this star of stars has to contend with a black hole. Not a black hole like the other ones in space, but a hole nonetheless. What does that mean?
Holes in the sun have now been spotted several times in a few weeks. Is the sun decomposing? Implode? Are those holes dangerous to life on Earth? Researchers have pored over the gaps and come to a conclusion that can be a bit confusing. We are going to talk about corona: not the disease, but the atmosphere of the sun (that’s where the name of the beer comes from). The atmosphere of the sun is the corona and several black spots can be seen in it. These are also called coronal holes.
Those holes aren’t just empty areas, they’re like tornadoes that spread gas. They appear very black in the x-rays they were seen on because they are much less dense and somewhat less scorching hot than the sun itself. It sounds like a strange sensation, but it’s perfectly normal. Coronal holes are very common for the sun. However, they are magnetic fields and they can affect the satellites, spacecraft, navigation systems and radio communications, which is why the location of those things is important to know. Bizarre that it can have such an influence, because the sun is still 150 million kilometers away from us.
Holes in the sun
Let the newly found hole be just such a slightly more dangerous one. Normally we see the holes mainly around the poles, which are not pointed at Earth anyway, but the newly discovered hole blows all solar wind our way. Solar wind that arrived on Earth last weekend. Charged particles are fired at the Earth at 3 million kilometers per hour. Yet we will not experience much of it: we still have a very well-functioning magnetic shield around mother earth. Satellites may be affected, but we have not seen any reports of this.
In any case, such a corona hole also has pluses. Those particles of the solar wind collide with the oxygen and nitrogen atoms in our air, releasing energy. How do we know? We can see it. That is the northern lights that we recently saw in the Netherlands. That solar wind is important and it is caused by such a coronal hole. If there are several of those holes, then we will see the northern lights earlier in the Netherlands, even if all conditions are right. Clear winter weather, for example.
For the time being, the coronal holes are not a problem and they do bring us nice things, but if those holes increase, then all those tens of thousands of satellites that are launched into space will increasingly be in danger.