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NASA Monitoring the Growing Giant Hole on the Surface of the Sun

Jul 19, 2016 03:16 AM EDT
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There's a huge black mass growing on the surface of the Sun and NASA is closely monitoring its behavior.

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) first detected the giant spot and it was the same equipment that managed to identify the growth of the dark hole on the surface of the Sun. But despite its alarming look, NASA scientists said there's nothing to worry about.

The spot is called a Coronal hole and it occurs quite often in different sizes. These dark spots are caused by magnetic fields that arch away from different areas in the corona. The areas are thinner due to the lower gas and energy levels. The temperature on the Sun's surface also plays a role in this phenomenon.

"Coronal holes are low-density regions of the sun's atmosphere, known as the corona. Because they contain little solar material, they have lower temperatures and thus appear much darker than their surroundings," a NASA official said in a statement.

Coronal holes are a normal occurrence in the Sun and no matter how massive it appears, scientists confirmed that it shouldn't be feared. The coronal holes can last for months, according to RT.

According to NASA, there are various solar activities than can be observed on the surface of the Sun including solar flares, coronal mass ejections, high-speed solar wind and solar energetic particles that are all influenced by the Sun's magnetic field.

But despite being a habitual solar activity, the growing giant hole can also cause some disruption to satellite and radio communications to Earth.

To capture the solar activity on the surface of the Sun, SDO uses ultraviolet light enabling scientists to clearly scrutinize and understand the behavior of the Sun. The SDO was launch to understand solar activities that can influence the life here on Earth. The SDO is also working towards a "predictive capability" when it comes to solar activities since the Earth depends on the Sun for life.

 

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