NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) claims to have discovered this gigantic coronal hole pictured above just over a week ago. It is massive, taking up roughly more than 10% of the sun’s surface. Further, this one is much bigger than an earlier hole found last October that measured approximately the size of 50 Earths. Via SDO:

Coronal holes are the source of a high-speed wind of solar particles that streams off the sun some three times faster than the slower wind elsewhere. While it’s unclear what causes coronal holes, they correlate to areas on the sun where magnetic fields soar up and away, without looping back down to the surface, as they do elsewhere… The concern, we are told, is not the immediate threat of increased solar winds headed our way as an expected consequence of this new find. The concern is that these coronal holes are getting bigger. FULL REPORT