With the sun spotless – cracks are forming in Earth’s magnetic field

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IMAGE: Solar Dynamics Observatory HMI Continuum – the sun has been spotless for 8 days straight.Date: 3/11/18

Anthony Watts / 6 hours ago March 11, 2018
While the sun is completely blank today, and has been for 8 days, some new things are happening in space in the electromagnetic relationship between the sun and the Earth – cracks are forming in Earth’s magnetic field that are allowing solar wind particles into Earth’s upper atmosphere.
The vernal equinox is less than 10 days away. That means one thing: Cracks are opening in Earth’s magnetic field. Researchers have long known that during weeks around equinoxes fissures form in Earth’s magnetosphere. Solar wind can pour through the gaps to fuel bright displays of Arctic lights.
One such episode occurred on March 9th. “The sky exploded with auroras,” reports Kristin Berg, who sends this picture from Tromsø, Norway:
wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/11/with-the-sun-spotless-cracks-are-forming-in-earths-magnetic-field/

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Image from NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

h/t Natura Naturans

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