NASA Sun Earth

CME blast and subsequent impact at Earth -- This illustration shows a CME blasting off the Sun’s surface in the direction of Ea CME blast and subsequent impact at Earth -- This illustration shows a CME blasting off the Sun’s surface in the direction of Earth. This left portion is composed of an EIT 304 image superimposed on a LASCO C2 coronagraph. Two to four days later, the CME cloud is shown striking and beginning to be mostly deflected around the Earth’s magnetosphere. The blue paths emanating from the Earth’s poles represent some of its magnetic field lines. The magnetic cloud of plasma can extend to 30 million miles wide by the time it reaches earth. These storms, which occur frequently, can disrupt communications and navigational equipment, damage satellites, and even cause blackouts. (Objects in the illustration are not drawn to scale.)

 

Credit: NASA/GSFC/SOHO/ESA

 

To learn more go to the SOHO website:

 

sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/home.html

 

To learn more about NASA's Sun Earth Day go here:

 

sunearthday.nasa.gov/2010/index.php

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Uploaded on March 19, 2010