The observations of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) suggest an upcoming auroral activity. Two holes found in the Sun’s corona could cause this activity.

Coronal holes are areas where magnetic field lines are open. They are the source of accelerated particles forming solar wind. These particles, when entering the Earth’s atmosphere along polar magnetic field lines become luminescent and form aurorae.

© Nasa/GSFC/AIA

It only took a few days for the two holes to develop. They were photographed between January 9 and January 12, 2011 by the AIA instrument on SDO, sensitive to ultraviolet light. These images were used to produce the video below. The holes are the two black stains, above and below the Sun’s equator.

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