2nd February 2011, 10:44
February 1, 2011 Ė Itís here. The solar wind pouring from the large coronal hole on the Sun has hit earth and though the wind speed blast has not caused the magnetosphere to expand in its usual dramatic flaring fashion to protect the earth- it has instead ionized the shield. Proton density is 20.9 protons/cm3 in a wind helio-wind speed of 376.8 km/sec. Thatís high enough to have an ionized, searing effect of the planetís fledging protective barrier. This is one of the largest coronal holes weíve seen on the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Sun in some time and itís emitting a powerful blast of proton particles toward earth like a ray gun. The particle stream is so powerful, itís pushing the planetís magnetic field out almost as fast as itís being generated from its rotational spin. Looking at the pressure reading of the magnetosphere below, we can see this is a very high resolution burn at maximum intensity. High proton density counts on the Sun are common when there is a plasma interface with the Sunís magnetic field from a comet but solar wind streams generally flow out in much weaker constitution from the Sun.