NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recently spotted something peculiar on the Sun: a square hole. There are high-speed solar winds shooting out of this area, and the lack of material makes the UV image look dark in comparison to surrounding areas. This hole was spotted in a video that that collected data from May 5-7.
The SDO’s description on the YouTube video reads: Inside the coronal hole you can see bright loops where the hot plasma outlines little pieces of the solar magnetic field sticking above the surface. Because it is positioned so far south on the Sun, there is less chance that the solar wind stream will impact us here on Earth.”
Researchers still aren’t sure what causes these coronal holes, but they are related to the fluctuations in the solar cycle when the magnetic poles reverse.
[Hat tip: Erin Ruberry, Discovery]