Sun Unleashes Massively Spectacular Solar Storm

A massive solar storm on the sun was observed by NASA scientists on Tuesday.

The US National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center says that an M-2, or medium-sized, solar flare was seen by a NASA space observatory. The storm could cause disruptions to a variety of communications systems and electrical power over the next day or so.

According to the scientists,  this blast of energy from the sun released solar radiation on a level possibly not witnessed since 2006.

Read the rest of the story: Sun Unleashes Spectacular Solar Storm.

Japanese satellite Hinode uncovers two massive coronal holes in sun’s magnetic field

A Japanese satellite has captured images showing two huge holes in the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the solar corona, which are blasting solar material into space.

Known as “coronal holes”  these openings in the Sun’s magnetic field allow gas to escape into space through the star’s super-hot outer atmosphere where they become the "solar wind".

Solar winds stream from the holes hitting the earth at an average speed of 400 kilometres per second contributing to auroral displays and in more extreme cases creating solar storms.

But don’t worry, experts say the holes don’t pose a threat to the Earth.

Associate Professor Mike Wheatland from the University of Sydney said effects we see back on Earth are caused more by other solar activity.

"While these are quite beautiful pictures we are unlikely to see any effects from the holes back on Earth," Dr Wheatland said.

Read the rest of the story: Japanese satellite Hinode discovers two huge holes in sun’s magnetic field.