Sun spits out two CMEs

Mar 13, 2013
ESA and NASA's Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured this image of a coronal mass ejection bursting off the leftside of the image at 9:25 p.m. EDT on March 12, 2013. This sun itself is obscured in this image, called a coronagraph, in order to better see the dimmer structures around it. Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO

The sun recently erupted with two coronal mass ejections (CMEs). One began at 8:36 p.m. EDT on March 12, 2013 and is directed toward three NASA spacecraft, Spitzer, Kepler and Epoxi. There is, however, no particle radiation associated with this event, which is what would normally concern operators of interplanetary spacecraft since the particles can trip computer electronics on board. A second CME began at 6:54 a.m. EDT on March 13, 2013 and its flank may pass by Earth at a speed that does not typically have a significant impact at Earth.

Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, indicate that both CMEs left the sun at around 400 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs.

Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and reach Earth one to three days later.

Earth-directed CMEs can cause a space called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when they connect with the outside of Earth's magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. In the past, geomagnetic storms from CMEs of this speed are usually mild. CMEs such as this have caused auroras near the poles but are unlikely to disrupt electrical systems on Earth or interfere with GPS or satellite-based communications systems.

Explore further: Computer simulation suggests early Earth bombarded by asteroids and comets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sun produces two CMEs

Feb 07, 2013

In the evening of Feb. 5, 2013, the sun erupted with two coronal mass ejections or CMEs that may glance near-Earth space. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial ...

NASA spacecraft observe Nov. 20 solar eruption

Nov 20, 2012

On Nov. 20, 2012, at 7:09 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection or CME. Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can ...

Sun shoots out two coronal mass ejections

Jan 24, 2013

On Jan. 23, 2013, at 9:55 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory ...

NASA sees a coronal mass ejection erupt from the sun

Jan 31, 2013

On Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:09am EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory ...

Earth-directed CME released by long duration solar flare

Feb 11, 2013

(Phys.org)—On Feb. 9, 2013 at 2:30 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, associated with a long duration C2.4-class flare. Experimental NASA research models, based ...

Continuing Thanksgiving eruptions on the Sun

Nov 26, 2012

On Nov. 23, 2012, at 8:54 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory ...

Recommended for you

Rosetta measures comet's temperature

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, finding that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.

How Rosetta arrives at a comet

3 hours ago

After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA's Rosetta is closing in on its target. But how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?

Lunar occultation of Saturn

3 hours ago

On the night of Monday August 4, mainland Australia will see Saturn disappear behind the moon. It's the third time this year that the moon and Saturn will perfectly line up, as viewed from our part of the ...

SHERLOC to micro-map Mars minerals and carbon rings

5 hours ago

(Phys.org) —An ultraviolet-light instrument on the robotic arm of NASA's Mars 2020 rover will use two types of ultraviolet-light spectroscopy, plus a versatile camera, to help meet the mission's ambitious ...

NuSTAR celebrates two years of science in space

6 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, a premier black-hole hunter among other talents, has finished up its two-year prime mission, and will be moving onto its next phase, ...

User comments : 0