NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory observed a dark structure, shaped kind of like the Pi symbol, spreading across much of the top of the sun this week (Oct. 12-13, 2017).

A large coronal hole stands out as the most obvious feature on the sun this week (Oct. 12-13, 2017). The dark structure, shaped kind of like the Pi symbol, spreads across much of the top of the sun. Though one cannot tell from this image and video clip in false-color extreme ultraviolet light, it is spewing high-speed solar wind particles into space and has been doing this all week. It is likely that these charged particles have been interacting with Earth's atmosphere and generating many aurora displays in regions near the poles the past several days.

Movies
PIA22047_Coronal_Hole_211_Oct_big.mp4
PIA22047_Coronal_Hole_211_Oct_sm.mp4

SDO is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Its Atmosphere Imaging Assembly was built by the Lockheed Martin Solar Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), Palo Alto, California.

View all Images