Monday, March 18, 2013

Coronal Mass Ejection Hits Earth

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- On March 17, 2013, at 1:28 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, NASA says that the coronal mass ejection (CME) that erupted from the Sun on March 15 passed by NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) as it approached Earth. 

Upon interacting with the giant magnetic bubble surrounding Earth, the magnetosphere, the CME caused a kind of solar storm known as a geomagnetic storm.  The storm initially caused a mild storm rated on NOAA’s geomagnetic storm scales as a G2 on a scale from G1 to G5, and subsequently subsided to a G1.  

According to NASA, storms of this strength have caused auroras near the poles but have not disrupted electrical systems on Earth or interfered with GPS or satellite-based communications systems.'

IMAGE: The ESA and NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured these images of the sun spitting out a coronal mass ejection (CME) on March 15, 2013, from 3:24 to 4:00 a.m. EDT. This type of image is known as a coronagraph, since a disk is placed over the sun to better see the dimmer atmosphere around it, called the corona. 

Image and Video Credit: ESA & NASA/SOHO