Photo Credit SDO
A massive long coronal hole has opened up on our Sun and is shooting solar wind directly towards Earth at incredible speeds expected to reach 700 km/second.
According to Spaceweather.com NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the fissure on Aug. 13th pointing directly at Earth: This is a "coronal hole"--a region where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows a gaseous material to escape.
Solar wind emerging from the hole is expected to reach Earth on Aug. 16th and 17th.
The incoming stream of solar wind may be preceded by a CIR (co-rotating interaction region).
CIRs are transition zones between slow- and fast-moving solar wind.
They often contain shock-like density gradients and strong magnetic fields that do a good job sparking auroras
SOLAR MINIMUM CONDITIONS ARE IN EFFECT: The sun has been without sunspots for 45 of the past 48 days.
To find a similar stretch of blank suns, you have to go back to 2009 when the sun was experiencing the deepest solar minimum in a century.
Some experts are linking this Solar Minimum to another mini ice age but after the summer we are having I wouldn't hold your breath.