Sun Emits Earth Directed Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

First Posted: Jun 24, 2013 08:33 AM EDT

As the Northern Hemisphere was preparing for the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, our sun exploded an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME) sending billions of tons of particles into space at 11.24 p.m EDT on June 20, 2013.

The CME was recorded an hour and a half before the time zone neared the summer solstice. These particles were estimated the reach the earth in one to three days. The particles are not able to travel through the atmosphere to cause any damage to humans but electronics systems in satellites as well as on ground are affected.

This latest coronal mass ejection was recorded by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory and ESA/NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Experimental NASA research models revealed that that CME left the sun at the speed of 1350 miles per second marking it as a relatively fast CME.

According to NASA reports, earth directed CMEs can trigger geomagnetic storms that can degrade communication signals and cause unexpected electrical surges in power grids and spectacular and dazzling northern lights also known as aurora borealis.  

Nature World News reports that the latest SME event coincided with a weak M2 class solar flare from AR1778 sunspot. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash. Several materials erupted from this blast but none were seen approaching the Earth. This flare was not geoeffective.

In the past, CMEs have caused geomagnetic storms which have not been very strong in magnitude

During the solar minimum, storms are rare but as the sun's activity rises every 11 years toward solar maximum large storms are expected several times per year.

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