Last month (October 2016), a Coronal Hole sent solar winds racing across the vast vacuum of space and sparked geomagnetic storms in our atmosphere. The result was almost a week of Auroral displays.
Spaceweather.com reports that the same Coronal Hole has transited the far side of the Sun and now it is back. It’s slightly smaller (covering a mere quarter of the Sun’s visible surface!!!) than it was almost a month ago but it is still throwing solar winds in our direction. Experts anticipate that the winds will reach our atmosphere later today (22 Nov 16) and could very well spark yet more dancing lights.
This is why we like Coronal Holes. They may not be as explosive as Coronal Mass Ejections but they are far more stable and, as this current event illustrates, it means they can generate Auroras on more than one occasion. These displays will generally be in a more localised band across northern skies so it’s more important than ever to head north if you want to see the greatest of Nature’s natural wonders.
Discover more about why the Northern won't disappear here.
© Markku Inkila taken 10/11/16, NASA/SDO