What happened on March 15th? Defining A CME

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By Kelsey Castellon on March 16, 2013, 9:08am Last modified: March 18, 2013, 11:57am

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Hey! My first post here at WX Edge shall be about a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that was directed at earth, and occurred on March 15th, at 2:54a.m.

This article will explain what a CME is and how it affects us, here on earth.

What is a CME?

"The outer solar atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields. Where these fields are closed, often above sunspot groups, the confined solar atmosphere can suddenly and violently release bubbles of gas and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections." Taken from: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/spaceweather/index.html

What does that mean?

It'll be easier to understand if we break down the phrase.


'Coronal' refers to the sun's "atmosphere", otherwise known as a corona.

Mass Ejection

A 'mass ejection' is an extremely large release of energy, or in this case radiation/gases/particles.

To put it simply...

A Coronal Mass Ejection is a massive and sudden release of gases and particles from the 'atmosphere' of the sun.


How does a CME affect us on earth?

A CME's particles are from the sun's atmosphere, and primarily contain electrons(negatively charged particles) and protons(positively charged particles). The particles can reach the earth in 1-3 days after the event. They can effect electronic systems(such as radios and TV's), and disrupt satellites in space.

According to NASA.gov, this particular ejection left the sun at speeds of 900 miles per second! Fairly Fast for a CME! Apparently, in history,CME's around this speed may cause mild to moderate effects here.


In conclusion~

To sum it all up:

On march 15th, 2013, a massive and sudden release of gases and particles from the sun's atmosphere occured (Known as a CME, Coronal Mass Ejection), that potentially could have adverse effects on electronics systems on earth.







This is Kelsey Castellon, Signing off~

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Kelsey Castellon

Town: North Haven, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since March 2013.

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