HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014


NASA video captures mysterious squarish hole in the Sun
California, May 13, 2014
First Published: 12:44 IST(13/5/2014)
Last Updated: 12:55 IST(13/5/2014)

A mysterious squarish hole in our sun from where solar wind is streaming out at a super fast speed has been captured. Luckily for us, it is positioned so far south on the sun that there is less chance that the solar wind stream will impact the earth.

The coronal hole is clearly visible as the sun rotates, appearing to be a black abyss into the centre of the sun, NASA reported.

In the NASA video, the massive hole appears to flicker and spark as it rotates past the camera.

Such holes may appear at any time of the solar cycle but they are most common during the declining phase of the cycle.

"A coronal hole, almost square in its shape, is one of the most noticeable features on the sun of late," the space agency said in a statement.

It appears dark in extreme ultraviolet light as there is less material to emit in these wavelengths.

"Inside the coronal hole, you can see bright loops where the hot plasma outlines little pieces of the solar magnetic field sticking above the surface," NASA added.

Solar flares can damage satellites and have an enormous financial cost.

The charged particles can also threaten airlines by disturbing the earth's magnetic field.

Very large flares can even create currents within electricity grids and knock out energy supplies.

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