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Old 08-19-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
D. Gale
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Default Spacecraft sees CME engulf Earth - movie

From Spaceweather.com:

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For the first time, a spacecraft far from Earth has turned and watched a solar storm engulf our planet. The movie, released yesterday during a NASA press conference, has galvanized solar physicists, who say it could lead to important advances in space weather forecasting. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news...8aug_cmemovie/

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen:

(I can't get the video to embed -- click on the link above to go directly to the NASA site to play the video. It's Quicktime and takes a couple of minutes to load, but it's totally worth it.)


Last edited by D. Gale; 08-19-2011 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #2
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Uh, yea, a solar store isn't a Coronal Mass Ejection.

We would all be dead if it was.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potemkin View Post
Uh, yea, a solar store isn't a Coronal Mass Ejection.

We would all be dead if it was.
I'm not sure I agree with that statement. CMEs come in many sizes..,
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potemkin View Post
Uh, yea, a solar store isn't a Coronal Mass Ejection.

We would all be dead if it was.
Where do you get that, Pote? We survive direct CME's all the time.

Quote:
A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a massive burst of solar wind, other light isotope plasma, and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona or being released into space.[1]

Coronal mass ejections are often associated with other forms of solar activity, most notably solar flares, but a causal relationship has not been established. Most ejections originate from active regions on Sun's surface, such as groupings of sunspots associated with frequent flares. Near solar maxima the Sun produces about 3 CMEs every day, whereas near solar minima there is about 1 CME every 5 days.

{snip}

The frequency of ejections depends on the phase of the solar cycle: from about one every other day near the solar minimum to 5–6 per day near the solar maximum. These values are also lower limits because ejections propagating away from Earth (backside CMEs) can usually not be detected by coronagraphs. (from Wikipedia)

We'd even survive a Carrington Event level CME, although our electronics might not.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Gale View Post
Excerpt from the Wikipedia CME article:
Near solar maxima the Sun produces about 3 CMEs every day, whereas near solar minima there is about 1 CME every 5 days.
There are a lot of CMEs. Almost none of them are aimed squarely at the Earth, which in the grand scale of our solar system is an awfully tiny target. So just to clarify, very, very few of all of the CMEs hit the Earth.
----------
Quote:
Where do you get that, Pote? We survive direct CME's all the time.
---
We'd even survive a Carrington Event level CME, although our electronics might not.
As you said, DG....
Quote:
Excerpt from the Wikipedia CME article:

Impact on Earth

When the ejection is directed towards the Earth and reaches it as an interplanetary CME (ICME), the shock wave of the traveling mass of Solar Energetic Particles causes a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt the Earth's magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail. When the magnetosphere reconnects on the nightside, it releases power on the order of terawatt scale, which is directed back toward the Earth's upper atmosphere.

This process can cause particularly strong auroras in large regions around Earth's magnetic poles. These are also known as the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) in the northern hemisphere, and the Southern Lights (aurora australis) in the southern hemisphere. Coronal mass ejections, along with solar flares of other origin, can disrupt radio transmissions and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission line facilities, resulting in potentially massive and long-lasting power outages.[4]

Humans in space or at high altitudes, for example, in airplanes, risk exposure to intense radiation. Short-term damage may include skin irritation with potential increased risk of developing skin cancer, but it's likely that any affected individuals would recover from any such exposure.[5]
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