SOHO Pick of the Week Persistent Coronal Hole March 5, 2002

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2002

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    Coronal holes appear as dark areas of the corona when viewed in ultraviolet light. This extended hole has lasted through three solar rotations (almost 3 months- longer than most) and is one of the largest seen by SOHO. Although they are usually located at the poles of the Sun, coronal holes can occur other places as well. The magnetic field lines in a coronal hole extend out into the solar wind rather than coming back down to the Sun's surface as they do in other parts of the Sun. Thus, they are often the source of strong solar wind gusts that carry solar particles into space and can impact the Earth. And holes that cross the solar equator ("transequatorial holes") are most likely to have geomagnetic effects. The effect of this most recent coronal hole was detected by the ACE spacecraft on 5 March 2001 as a blast of high speed solar wind that may cause aurora to appear at higher latitudes.

    Previous Picks of the Week SOHO began its Weekly Pick some time after sending a weekly image or video clip to the American Museum of Natural History (Rose Center) in New York City. There, the SOHO Weekly Pick is displayed with some annotations on a large plasma display.

    If your institution would also like to receive the same Weekly Pick from us for display (usually in Photoshop or QuickTime format), please send your inquiry to

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