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Holes in sun’s atmosphere can help predict space weather on Earth

Coronal holes are cooler, darker regions in the sun’s upper atmosphere, the corona, from which solar wind streams into space at high speed. A new study has now found that the magnetic properties of these holes can be used to forecast the severity of geomagnetic storms that hit Earth. 

Geomagnetic storms happen when bursts of solar wind, streams of magnetized particles from the corona, interact with Earth’s magnetic field and penetrate the planet’s atmosphere. Some geomagnetic storms are a result of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), powerful eruptions of plasma from the corona that usually originate from sunspots

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