Sun releases slow moving CME

Nov 12, 2012 by Karen C. Fox
On the left is an image of a CME from Nov. 9, 2012, as captured by the joint ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) at 10:48 a.m. EST. The CME can be seen as the light band that appears to be spreading away from the dark disk at the center, which is used to block the bright light from the sun in order to observe the dimmer solar atmosphere. The right image is what’s called a “difference” image, which helps highlights recent changes in any given image, thus making the CME stand out. Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO/GSFC

On Nov. 9, 2012, at 10:24 a.m. EST, the sun emitted an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME). A CME is a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later. CMEs can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground.

Experimental NASA research models based on observations from NASA's (STEREO) and the joint ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) show that the CME left the sun traveling at 350 miles per second, which is a slow to average speed for CMEs.

Geomagnetic storms can occur when certain types of CMEs connect up with the outside of the Earth's magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. In the past CMEs of this magnitude have tended to have a relatively weak impact, perhaps causing auroras near the poles, but not causing damage to electrical systems on Earth or interfering with GPS or satellite-based communications systems.

NOAA's Center (http://swpc.noaa.gov) is the United States Government official source for space weather forecasts.

Updates will be provided as needed.

Explore further: Up, up and away, in the name of science education

More information: What is a CME? For answers to this and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.

Related Stories

NASA sees sun unleash a wide, but benign, CME

Sep 28, 2012

The sun erupted with a wide, Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) on Sept. 27, 2012 at 10:25 p.m. EDT. CMEs are a phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space that can reach ...

Solar flares: What does it take to be X-class?

Aug 10, 2011

Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). ...

Six coronal mass ejections in 24 hours

Sep 22, 2011

The sun let loose with at least six coronal mass ejections (CMEs) -- solar phenomena that can send solar particles into space and affect electronic systems in satellites -- from 7 PM ET on September 18, 2011 ...

STEREO spots a CME soaring into space

Sep 11, 2012

The enormous eruption of a solar prominence and resulting coronal mass ejection (CME) back on August 31 that was captured in amazing HD by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory was also spotted by the Sun-flanking STEREO-B spacecraft, ...

Recommended for you

Up, up and away, in the name of science education

13 hours ago

US researchers extol the virtues of high-altitude balloons for science education in a research paper published in the International Journal of Learning Technology. According to Jeremy Straub of the University of North Dakota ...

New plan proposed to send humans to Mars

13 hours ago

A new, cost-constrained U.S. strategy to send humans on Mars, could be achieved within projected NASA budgets by minimizing new developments and relying mainly on already available or planned NASA assets. ...

'Cause unknown' in SpaceX rocket blast

16 hours ago

SpaceX came up empty Monday in its search to figure out why an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket exploded minutes after blasting off from a NASA launchpad with a load of space-bound cargo.

SOFIA points telescope toward Pluto occultation

19 hours ago

The Stratosphere Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that makes celestial observations with its German-built 100-inch telescope. The telescope is enhanced to collect ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.