A space telescope aimed at the sun has spotted a gigantic hole in sun!
A dark spot that covers nearly a quarter of our closest star, spewing solar material and gas into space.
The so-called coronal hole over the sun’s north pole came into view between July 13 and 18 and was observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. NASA released a video of the sun hole as seen by the SOHO spacecraft, showing the region as a vast dark spot surrounded by solar activity.
Coronal holes are darker, cooler regions of the sun’s atmosphere, or corona, containing little solar material. In these gaps, magnetic field lines whip out into the solar wind rather than looping back to the sun’s surface. Coronal holes can affect space weather, as they send solar particles streaming off the sun about three times faster than the slower wind unleashed elsewhere from the sun’s atmosphere, according to a description from NASA.
“While it’s unclear what causes coronal holes, they correlate to areas on the sun where magnetic fields soar up and away, failing to loop back down to the surface, as they do elsewhere,” NASA’s Karen Fox at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., explained in an image description.
Some at NASA fear that the sun is about to break apart and collapse, which some think would mean the end of Earth, and humans. “Actually, there’s nothing to worry about,” said astrophysicist Paul Comito. “If the Sun breaks apart, there is another Sun just outside our galaxy that will fill the void and take over and be our new sun. It’s the natural order of the universe. We have a backup.”
So, don’t worry… there’s a giant hole in the sun, but… it’s all good.
Reporting and original article by Megan Gannon. Originally published on SPACE.com.