A high-speed stream of solar wind is hitting the Earth


As expected, albeit slightly delayed, the Terra is entering a flow from wind solar traveling more than 500 km/s, emitted from a coronal hole in the Sun’s atmosphere.
This flow is not expected to cause a geomagnetic storm – however, its interaction with Earth’s magnetosphere could trigger auroras around the Arctic Circle today, 21 October.

solar wind coronal hole

solar wind coronal hole

Credit: Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)

What is a coronal hole

a coronal hole it is an area in the Sun’s atmosphere where the magnetic field recedes and allows gases to escape: it is a real “gash” that appears on the surface of our star on average once or twice a month.
They are regions that appear darker because they emit less X-ray and ultraviolet radiation and these are generally extensive and long-lasting phenomena: they are capable of producing fast bursts of solar wind which, if they reach the Earth, can trigger polar auroras, geomagnetic storms and interference in radio communications.

What is the solar wind

Solar winds are streams of charged particles that escape from the Sun, heading into Space. NASA estimates that these events, on average, can reach speeds of around 1.6 million km / h.
Coming from the Sun’s corona, the internal atmosphere, winds can mix with the Earth’s magnetic field and trigger a series of phenomena, including geomagnetic storms, i.e. disturbances of the Earth’s magnetosphere.

What is a geomagnetic storm

When phenomena of sudden and violent activity occur on the Sun, such as flares, large quantities of high-energy particles are emitted that travel quickly through Space, sometimes hurled towards the Earth: this current of particles is braked and deflected by the magnetic field terrestrial, which in turn is disturbed and distorted.
When this “impact” occurs, the Earth’s magnetosphere (the region around the Earth pervaded by the action of its magnetic field) suffers a strong backlash that can cause temporary blackouts in power grids or satellite communications systems. The well-known phenomenon of the polar auroras is also associated with geomagnetic storms.


highspeed stream solar wind hitting Earth

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