Pick of The Week
 
 

Pre-Halloween Special (October 16, 2003)


Hi-res TIF image (1.8M)

(Original image available as JPG( 71K) and a in

Hi-resTIF (2.2M))

Movies:
MPEG: format (1.7M)
Quicktime: Large (713K), Small (258K)

This week the Sun had a grouping of coronal holes that developed into a shape that closely resembled some kind of goblin mask. Exaggerated you say? Take a look at the video and judge for yourself. It might be a little early for Halloween the shape is intriguing nonetheless. Be prepared to be surprised!

The solar wind from these holes may help to excite the aurora in the Earth's ionosphere. Coronal holes, which appear as darker areas in SOHO's ultraviolet imagers, are a source of the higher speed solar wind. The magnetic field in coronal holes opens outward, allowing electrically charged particles to escape and be accelerated by the solar wind. Elsewhere in the Sun's outer atmosphere, the magnetic field curves back toward the surface and traps nearly all charged particles close to the Sun. The density and speed of the solar wind coming from coronal holes are significantly higher than in the solar wind originating over "closed" magnetic field regions.

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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 steele.hill@gsfc.nasa.gov.

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