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SOLAR SCIENCE
The Sun Unleashes a Wide, but Benign, CME
by Karen C. Fox for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD (SPX) Oct 03, 2012


NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory captured this image of a particularly wide coronal mass ejection (CME) that erupted from the sun at 10:23 p.m. EDT on Sep. 27, 2012. The leading edge of the CME appears to wrap around over half of the entire sun as it moves out into space. Credit: SOHO/ESA and NASA. For a larger version of this image please go here.

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 Earth one to three days later, affecting electronic systems in satellites and on the ground.

Experimental NASA research models estimate that the CME is traveling at around 700 miles per second and will reach Earth on Sept. 29.

CMEs of these speeds are usually benign. In the past, similar CMEs have caused auroras near the poles but have not caused disruption to electrical systems or significantly interfered with GPS or satellite-based communications systems.

The CME is associated with a fairly small solar flare that was measured as C-class, which is third in strength after X- and M-class flares.

The flare peaked at 7 p.m. EDT and came from an active region on the sun labeled AR 1577.

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center is the United States Government official source for space weather forecasts.

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Related Links
Space Weather Prediction Center
Solar Science News at SpaceDaily






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SOLAR SCIENCE
Scientists Shed Light on Riddle of Sun's Explosive Events
Durham, NH (SPX) Sep 26, 2012
Four decades of active research and debate by the solar physics community have failed to bring consensus on what drives the sun's powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can have profound "space weather" effects on Earth-based power grids and satellites in near-Earth geospace. In a paper just published in Nature Physics, an international team of space scientists, including a researcher ... read more


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