Not to be confused with a solar flare, which is a burst of light and radiation, CMEs are a phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured this image of the sun at 5:06 a.m. EDT on Oct 5, 2012 showing a coronal mass ejection (CME) spreading away from the sun toward Earth. Credit: SOHO (ESA & NASA)
Experimental NASA research models show the CME to be traveling at about 400 miles per second.
When Earth-directed, CMEs can affect electronic systems in satellites and on Earth. CMEs of this speed, however, have not generally caused major effects in the past. Further updates will be provided if needed.
NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (http://swpc.noaa.gov) is the United States Government official source for space weather forecasts.
What is a CME?
For answers to this and other space weather questions, please visit the Spaceweather Frequently Asked Questions page.
Karen C. Fox | EurekAlert!
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