NASA's STEREO detects a CME from the sun

May 17, 2013
NASA's STEREO detects a CME from the sun
A combined view of the coronal mass ejection, or CME, that occurred on May 17, 2013, at 5:36 EDT. The center yellow image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and shows the sun as seen in UV light, in the 171 Angstrom wavelength. The SDO image is superimposed on top of an image from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory showing the CME propagating into space. Credit: NASA/SDO/Goddard, ESA&NASA SOHO

On 5:24 a.m. EDT on May 17, 2013, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later and affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 745 miles per second. The solar material in CMEs cannot pass through the atmosphere to affect humans on Earth.

Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when they connect with the outside of the Earth's magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time.

The CME may also pass by Spitzer and its mission operators have been notified. If warranted, operators can put spacecraft into safe mode to protect the instruments from the solar material.

Explore further: Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Earth-directed coronal mass ejection from the sun

Mar 15, 2013

(Phys.org) —On March 15, 2013, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can ...

Activity continues on the Sun

May 15, 2013

(Phys.org) —Solar activity continued on May 14, 2013, as the sun emitted a fourth X-class flare from its upper left limb, peaking at 9:48 p.m. EDT.

Three X-class flares in 24 hours

May 14, 2013

The sun emitted a third significant solar flare in under 24 hours, peaking at 9:11 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2013. This flare is classified as an X3.2 flare. This is the strongest X-class flare of 2013 so far, ...

NASA sees three coronal mass ejections in two days

Apr 22, 2013

On April 20, 2013, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection (CME), a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space that can affect electronic systems ...

Sun spits out two CMEs

Mar 13, 2013

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 ...

First X-class solar flare of 2013

May 13, 2013

(Phys.org) —On May 12, 2013, the sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 10 p.m. EDT. This flare is classified as an X1.7, making it the first X-class flare of 2013. The flare was also associated ...

Recommended for you

Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

19 hours ago

(Phys.org) —As it soared past Saturn's large moon Titan recently, NASA's Cassini spacecraft caught a glimpse of bright sunlight reflecting off hydrocarbon seas.

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

23 hours ago

Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space. "Space tourism" and short periods of weightlessness appear to be safe for most individuals ...

An unmanned rocket exploded. So what?

Oct 30, 2014

Sputnik was launched more than 50 years ago. Since then we have seen missions launched to Mercury, Mars and to all the planets within the solar system. We have sent a dozen men to the moon and many more to ...

NASA image: Sunrise from the International Space Station

Oct 30, 2014

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted this image of a sunrise, captured from the International Space Station, to social media on Oct. 29, 2014. Wiseman wrote, "Not every day is easy. Yesterday was a tough one. ...

Copernicus operations secured until 2021

Oct 30, 2014

In a landmark agreement for Europe's Copernicus programme, the European Commission and ESA have signed an Agreement of over €3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus 'space component' between 2014 ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (2) May 18, 2013
"the solar material cannot pass through the earths atmosphere to affect humans on earth"

right . i love it when you can tell people who right this stuff are totally unversed in their subjects.

what's exciting is there have been a number of flares in the past week. perhaps there will be a spate of many more in the weeks to come. eventually one could devastate a couple sattelites or maybe cause a blackout by shorting some powerlines and transformers if we're unlucky.

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.