Darkness On The Sun - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Darkness On The Sun

What's also known as the brightest object in our sky actually has darkness to it. The darkness comes in the form of what is called a coronal hole. NASA has images of the sun that features a suspiciously dark square.

The dark square is nothing more than an area where high gusts of solar wind are moving out into space, or a gap in the magnetic field. The magnetic field on the sun is what keeps the suns material in place, as opposed to leaving into space. Rather than being a bright spot, the area shows up as darkness because as material is moving out into space, there is less material on the surface of the sun to emit an ultra violet light. While the spot is linked to being a gap in the magnetic field, the magnetic field does not entirely disappear in this area. Bright spots show up within the darkness which is actually portions of the magnetic field.

Although a dark spot on the bright sun seems alarming, scientists say that coronal holes such as this one appear frequently and can last for weeks.  Solar wind has affected Earth in the past, though this particular burst of solar wind is far enough south on the Sun that Earth will not be in the line of fire.

 

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