CME is Headed Towards Earth – It Will Be Here By Monday At The Latest
NASA is reporting the a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) has erupted from the surface of the Sun, and is heading directly towards the Planet Earth at a speed of 900 miles per second.
This Space Weather Phenomenon, known as a CME, sends billions of tons of radioactive solar particles into space, and more importantly, is sending them directly towards Earth this time. CME’s aren’t always directed towards the Earth.
It can reach Earth in as little as one day, and sometimes takes up to three days, depending on the speed of the particle flow. At 900 miles per second, this CME is moving at a relatively high rate of speed, meaning it will get here sooner than later.
The speed of the particle flow has a direct relationship to how it may or may not affect our planet. Typically, CME’s moving at this high rate of speed will create mild to moderate effects on the Earth.
This Space Weather happening is a CME, not a Solar Flare. Solar Flares happen quite a bit more frequently than CME’s, and occasionally, a CME happens directly after a Solar Flare, but not always, and scientists have yet to develop the relationship between Solar Flares and CME’s.
NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) observed and recorded the event, and experimental research models have shown that the CME left the surface of the Sun at speeds of around 900 miles per second.
These same experimental research models are showing that the particle flow will directly affect two of NASA’s space instruments, the Spitzer and Messenger spacecraft. NASA has warned the mission scientists from these two spacecraft, and the mission commanders will take appropriate steps to keep particle radiation from tripping on-board instruments.
MESSENGER’s mission is to conduct an in-depth study of the sun’s closest neighbor, Mercury, the least explored of the terrestrial planets that also include Venus, Earth and Mars. After its launch on Aug. 2, 2004, MESSENGER’s voyage and mission directive included three flybys of Mercury in 2008 and 2009 and a year-long orbit of the planet starting in March 2011, with additional mission directives being assigned as need be.
The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched into space on August 25, 2003. During its cryogenic mission, Spitzer obtained images and spectra by detecting the infrared energy, or heat, radiated by objects in space between wavelengths of 3 and 180 microns. Most of this infrared radiation is blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere and cannot be observed from the ground.
Since it has exhausted its stock of helium, which it used to keep the Telescope cooler than its surroundings, allowing it to capture infrared images of the galaxy without interference from its own heat, it has begun an extended mission. Now that it can no longer cool its instruments below several of the observation targets it was originally designed for, it still can observe two wavelengths, allowing it to continue its extended mission indefinitely.
NASA and The ESA’s Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) project is a cooperative effort between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, and was designed to study the internal structure of the Sun, its extensive outer atmosphere and the origin of solar wind, the stream of highly ionized gas that blows continuously outward through our Solar System.
NASA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
They are warning us that an Earth-directed CME can cause a Space Weather phenomenon called a Geomagnetic Storm, which occurs when they connect with the outside of the Earth’s magnetic envelope, the Magnetosphere, for an extended period of time.
These CME’s can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground, and in rare, extreme cases, may sometimes affect power grids on Earth.