Coronal hole faces Earth, Mercury transit coming up

Friday, 6 May 2016 - 21:03 UTC

Coronal hole faces Earth, Mercury transit coming up

A trans equatorial coronal hole is now facing Earth. This coronal hole is sending an enhanced solar wind stream towards Earth which should start to affect Earth either this Sunday (8 May) or Monday (9 May) and it will likely cause enhanced geomagnetic conditions when the stream arrives. The NOAA SWPC has a minor G1 geomagnetic storm watch in effect for Monday, 9 May.

This coronal hole is by far the most interesting solar feature on the Earth-facing solar disk at the moment as there are no sunspot regions currently visible which could produce a significant (M  or X-class) solar flare. It is clear that we are well on our way to solar minimum as we discussed in our previous news item.

Mercury transit coming up

This Monday there will be a very good reason to watch the Sun. The planet Mercury will transit the Sun! While not as rare as a Venus transit, this will in fact be the first Mercury transit that SDO will observe.

Where will you be during Monday's Mercury transit? Will you be watching the images from NASA's SDO spacecraft or do you have a solar telescope to observe this event? Let us know in the comments!

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