Friday, September 6, 2013

Coronal Holes on NPR

A story yesterday on NPR's All Things Considered talked about coronal holes. I claimed that they can look like rubber chickens and kokopellis. The rubber chicken is easy to see (here on the left in a an AIA 193 image from June 1, 2012). It was nice of a filament to help form one of the legs.
The kokopelli, a flute player from the southwest Pueblo culture, requires a bit more imagination to see (on the left, another AIA 193 image from March 13, 2013).
So here is an illustration of a kokpelli to guide your eye.

There are other coronal holes in these images. The coronal hole at the south pole of the Sun got smaller going from March to June. These polar coronal holes shrink at solar maximum and then reappear at solar minimum.

Coronal holes, in all of their shapes and sizes, will become more frequent as the Sun starts to reduce solar activity back toward another solar minimum.

Like figures in clouds, these shapes are fun to find. You can look for coronal holes at the SDO data website. They show up best in the 3-color images.

You can read more about coronal holes in another blog post.