Three Vast ‘Holes’ Just Appeared on the Sun—and They’re Bombarding Earth with Geomagnetic Storms(Source Newsweek) Three vast “holes” have opened up on the Sun over the past week, according to NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), allowing high-speed solar winds to escape into space and bombard the Earth. These so-called coronal holes are gaps in the star’s outermost atmosphere, which are less dense and cooler than their surroundings. Magnetic field images released by the SDO show huge dark patches on the Sun’s surface, indicating their location. The holes spew out charged particles which can affect animals and electronic systems on Earth, and cause auroras to appear at lower latitudes than normal if they interact with the magnetosphere—the region around our planet dominated by its magnetic field. “A stream of high-speed solar wind is buffeting Earth’s magnetic field, and this is causing G1-class geomagnetic storms around the poles, Spaceweather.com reported on April 11. “Auroras have been sighted in the USA as far south as the Dakotas. The gaseous material is flowing from a wide hole in the sun’s atmosphere—so wide that the stream could influence Earth for another two to three days.” For April 12, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center have issued an alert saying there is a 50 percent chance of a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm.