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Originally posted by grantbeed
It seems lots of us are getting just slightly carried away in this thread. It's a Coronal Hole, and a nice one at that.
They happen from time to time and if you search you will find lots of other examples.
It is no Quran prophecy or anything to do with the end of the world. It's just an amazing phenomenon that happens from time to time that makes us go
[edit on 6-6-2010 by grantbeed]
Leaky Sun threatens disruption
Space weather forecasters have warned that gusts of solar wind could disrupt satellite operations and power grids until the end of February
It is the second solar storm warning in a week. On Monday, fears that a solar eruption could cause similar problems proved groundless after the Earth's protective magnetosphere successfully deflected the storm front into space
Last week an interplanetary wind storm hit our planet. For over two days, a gale of energetic particles from the Sun blew past the Earth at speeds exceeding 500 times that of a speeding bullet.
The source of all this activity was a large coronal hole stretched across the face of the Sun. The hole has since departed and the powerful interplanetary breeze of magnetized gas has subsided
Our planet's magnetic field usually does a good job protecting Earth-dwellers from solar wind storms. Magnetic lines of force, which look a bit like a squashed bar magnet's, deflect charged particles from the Sun so that they don't hit our atmosphere head on. Life as we know it depends on our magnetic shield
the Northern Lights, solar-induced phenomena more closely associated with regions near Earth's North Pole, were documented as far south as Rome, Havana and Hawaii, with similar effects at the South Pole
Earthquake in Rouiba, Algeria, Wednesday, May 21 2003. Algeria's worst earthquake in two decades killed more than 1,000 people, injured thousands and left thousands more homeless. Entire families were killed in the 6.8-magnitude quake, which was strongest about 60 miles east of the capital, Algiers.
NASA was not at all ready for this to happen this soon