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Powerful ‘proton aurora’ cut a 250-mile-wide hole in Earth’s ozone layer

When a blast of solar energy slammed into Earth in June 2015, the resulting rain of particles tore a 250-mile-wide (400 kilometers) hole into the upper ozone layer, new research has found.

Fortunately, the ozone hole only appeared in Earth’s mesosphere — a high layer of the atmosphere that extends from about 31 to 53 miles (50 to 85 km) over Earth — and did not extend down to the much more important ozone layer in the stratosphere, which protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the researchers found.

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