Video Of The Sun’s Coronal Mass Ejections And Solar Flares
Apparently the Sun is shooting giant magnetic bubbles of magnetic plasma at us in the form of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. A new NASA video shows the shifting sunspots on the surface of the Sun associated with the CMEs, as well as a recent series of M-class solar flares that have erupted over the last week or so.
NASA’s STEREO-Ahead spacecraft shot this video, but the footage looks like it could come from some experimental psychedelic film, or a particularly intense acid trip. It is breathtaking to be sure, hard to believe it’s real at times.
Sunspot AR1504 launched CMEs towards Earth two straight days in a row, on June 13th and 14th. “The blast is heading towards Earth at a speed of 1,360 kilometers per second and is expected to arrive on June 16.” CMEs are linked to solar flares, though there is no definite causal link. These particular ones are located on the eastern limb of the Sun (I didn’t know the Sun had limbs). These CMEs will also touch down on Venus before Earth, and Mars a few days afterwards.
The exact impact this event will have is unclear, though there is likely to cause geomagnetic storms around the poles and disrupt some communications. Also on June 16th you should be able to see some auroras in the high latitudes if you’re into that sort of thing.