Image: Holes in the Sun's corona

January 12, 2011

This Solar Dynamics Observatory image of the Sun taken on January 10 in extreme ultraviolet light captures a dark coronal hole just about at sun center.

Coronal holes are areas of the Sun's surface that are the source of open that head way out into space.

They are also the source regions of the fast solar wind, which is characterized by a relatively steady speed of approximately 800 km/s (about 1.8 million mph).

As the continues to rotate, the high speed solar wind particles blowing from this hole will likely reach in a few days and may spark some auroral activity.

The timelapse video below shows the coronal hole moving into full view.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
This timelapse video shows a coronal hole, as captured in ultraviolet light by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Jan. 10, 2011. Coronal holes are areas of the sun's surface that are the source of open magnetic field lines that head way out into space. They are also the source regions of the fast solar wind, which "blows" at a relatively steady clip of 1.8 million mph.

Explore further: The Sun's X-file under the Spotlight

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