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What is a coronal mass ejection?

asked 2016-08-02 22:45:31 -0600

anonymous user


Coronal mass ejection?

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answered 2016-08-02 22:46:08 -0600

Pascal Le Dramont gravatar image

updated 2016-08-02 22:46:44 -0600

Rob Mueller gravatar image

Coronal mass ejections, CMEs, are huge magnetic bubbles of plasma that expand away from the Sun at speeds as high as 2000 km per second. A single CME can carry up to ten billion tons (1013 kilograms) of plasma away from the Sun. Coronal mass ejections were once thought to be initiated by solar flares. Although some are accompanied by flares, it is now known that most CMEs are not associated with flares.

When a CME arrives at Earth, it can cause fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field that can play havoc with the civil electrical power distribution infrastructure, by inducing unwanted voltages.

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Asked: 2016-08-02 22:45:31 -0600

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Last updated: Aug 02 '16