Image: Coronal holes
This image shows dramatic dark areas in the Sun's corona and was acquired by the SWAP instrument on ESA's Proba-2 mission at midday on Wednesday, 7 November.
The dark areas are 'coronal holes' – areas of open magnetic field in the Sun's corona that emit charged particles as high-speed solar wind that spreads into space.
When it reaches Earth, this solar wind can affect the functioning of satellites in orbit.
The nice thing is that these are predictable events, as we can see these gaps or holes on the solar disc before the high-speed wind hits Earth.
ESA's future Lagrange mission will significantly improve our ability to detect these holes and forecast solar wind effects, providing a lead time of three to five days.