Scientists from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, together with colleagues from NorthWest Research Associates, the University of Graz and the Kanzelhöhe Observatory, and the Hvar Observatory, have developed new methods for using coronal dimmings observed in the solar corona for early diagnosis of powerful bursts of plasma from the Sun. Their findings can help better understand and predict extreme space weather events that directly impact many industries and technological systems in space and on Earth: satellites, airlines, power grids, communications, transportation, pipelines, emergency services. The results of their study will be published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal and are already available on the Arxiv.org preprint repository.
The Sun does not only generously provide us with light and heat, but it is also the source of space weather effects. Solar flares, prominences, and eruptions of giant magnetic plasma bubbles can cause geomagnetic storms and ignite auroras. On Oct. 28, 2021, the Sun unleashed a powerful solar flare, followed by a prominence eruption and an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection. However, unfortunately, it is impossible to detect a plasma cloud at an early stage of its development. Usually it can be identified already at a developed stage, when it appears in the field of view of special coronagraphs that create an artificial solar eclipse, but occlude the solar disk by several of its radii.