Coronal Mass Ejection

November 15, 2021

The Carrington Flare

On September 1st, 1859, (161 years ago today) a 33-year-old astronomer called Richard Carrington, working at an observatory in Surrey, England, went about his daily duties of sketching the peculiar dark spots that he had been witnessing transiting the Sun.
June 20, 2021

Super Hot Stamps from the USPS – SDO Sun Science Stamps

What a great way to celebrate the Sun's importance in our lives—a stamp series from the United States Postal Service. #SunScienceStamps #NASASunScience
October 28, 2018

X17 Solar Flare and Solar Storm of October 28, 2003

On this day in 2003 (October 28), the Sun unleashed one of the largest and most geoeffective solar storms of the modern age (and consequently, one of the most studied).
March 2, 2015

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission: Studying magnetic fields around the Earth

By looking close to home, NASA’s newest mission with provide a window to the universe. Countdown to MMS Launch [ujicountdown id=”Countdown to MMS Launch” expire=”2015/03/12 22:44″ hide=”” url=”” subscr=””] The Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission was created to study how magnetic
September 10, 2014

AR12158 Gives Away an X-flare and CME

AR12158 produced an X1.6 flare along with a coronal mass ejection. The flare peaked in X-rays at 17:45 UT. 18:20 UT (9/11/2014) – This movie is a difference movie created by Dr. Nariaki Nitta (@halocme) from the Lockheed Martin Solar and
September 2, 2014

A Dazzling Eruption Captured by STEREO Behind

SDO and SOHO were not the only spacecraft to capture the spectacular eruption off the East (left) limb of the sun on August 24, 2014. The M5.9 flare (at 12:17 UT) from AR 12151 was seen by the STEREO SECCHI
August 4, 2014

Giant Filament Staring at Earth

High above the solar surface in the hot million+ C solar corona sits a giant filament of cooler (~50,000 C), denser material, both supported and restrained by solar magnetic fields. If this filament should become unstable as they sometimes do
July 8, 2014

AR12113 Erupts with an M6.5 Flare

03:11 UT – Space Weather researchers at NASA/GSFC have determined the CME may affect Mars and Spitzer as well as possibly glance Earth. The CME has an estimated speed of 725 km/s. Below is a computer model showing the CMEs
June 17, 2014

The Sun is really, really big!

A giant filament on the eastern edge of the sun really puts the size of our star, Earth and the planets into perspective. This structure of solar plasma, a billion plus tons of 80,000 degree Fahrenheit material, sits high above
June 12, 2014

A CME Impact at Earth – Maybe?

NOAA active region AR12087 began making its activity apparent in SDO well before it became visible on the Earth facing solar disk. Solar flares from the region became visible in the first week of June. On June 10, the region
June 9, 2014

Geomagnetic Storm and Aurora from Brush with CME

High latitude observers treated with spectacular aurora June 8 and June 9th. The CME that glanced Earth’s magnetosphere on June 7 started a minor geomagnetic disturbance just after the impact that grew into a G1 then G2 level geomagnetic storm
June 7, 2014

CME from Filament Eruption Brushes Earth

The CME is here! As predicted the CME from the June 4 filament eruption impacted Earth’s magnetosphere around 16:30 UT with a glancing blow and created a minor geomagnetic disturbance. The plot above shows the solar wind measured by the ACE spacecraft,
June 6, 2014

Possible Glancing Blow CME

The slow CME produced by the giant filament eruption from June 4 could give Earth a glancing blow. The impact should be very weak but there could be a minor geomagnetic enhancement on June 7. High latitude aurora watchers may
June 5, 2014

Giant Filament Erupting into Space

A huge filament on the southeast of the sun erupted towards the end of June 4. The filament was somewhere between a whopping 500,000 – 1 million km in length. This eruption produced a fairly slow coronal mass ejection that
February 14, 2014

Waiting for an Aurora Valentine

3 CMEs are headed for Earth with the first impact expected late on Feb. 14, 2014 for some Valentine’s day and weekend aurora! Space weather forecasters are waiting to see what is in store for this weekend. Three separate CMEs
February 12, 2014

Current Solar Rumblings and Valentine’s Day Aurora

A whole lot of spots going on! We no longer have the rumbling region AR11967 but the solar disk is covered with smaller regions and AR11974 is sitting at disk center popping of lots of small and medium-sized flares. It
February 1, 2014

AR11967 Continues its Flaring and AR11968 Sends a CME Our Way

 There are two main active regions (ARs 11967/11968) on the sun and both are giving a moderate show. AR11967 continues to produce C- and M-level events, including an M3.0 flare at 07:14 UT Feb. 1, 2014. The region continues to show signs
November 19, 2013

Solar Eruption from AR11893 (Updated)

11 UT (11/19/2013) – Sunspot group AR11893 erupted producing a X1 solar flare peaking at 10:26 UT, Nov. 19, 2013. A 10 cm radio burst associated with the solar flare was observed at 10:20 UT. This radio noise is generally
October 25, 2013

X Marks the New Spot! (Updated)

The newest active region on the sun has given us an X-flare and a CME! 15:10 UT (10/25/2013) X again! AR11882 kicked it up again with an X2.1 peaking at 15:03 UT. A multi-million degree snapshot with SDO/AIA 94 angstrom.
September 30, 2013

Spectacular Erupting Filament with Earth-directed Space Weather

A huge filament erupted from the sun producing a beautiful coronal mass ejection (CME) and solar energetic particle event. Around 21 UT, 9/29/2013 a filament erupted from the northwest quadrant of the sun. It started from the surface with a
August 22, 2013

Slow Earth-directed Halo CME

This time a CME is headed directly for us! Around 5:24 UT (1:24 EDT), the SOHO/LASCO C2 instrument caught a first glimpse at a CME leaving the sun directly for Earth. The CME is traveling at a fairly slow ~610
August 20, 2013

Aurora Ahead? – Filament Eruption with an Earth-directed CME

There may be a geomagnetic storm in store for Earth. Lookout aurora watchers! A filament ~50 Earths in length (~400,000 miles) erupted from the Sun’s southern hemisphere in the southwest direction around 7:24 UT (4:24 am EDT). The eruption produced
August 17, 2013

M3.3 Solar Flare and a Coronal Mass Ejection

A long duration M3.3 flare with a beautiful eruption and CME! Active region AR11818 produced a flare peaking in X-ray at 18:24 UT (2:24 pm EDT). The eruption produced extended X-ray emission with another flare, ~M1.5 after the initial eruption
May 27, 2013

Filament Eruption Sends CME Headed Towards STEREO Ahead and Mars

A filament erupted on the backside of the sun and was observed by the EUVI instrument on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft. The eruption produced a CME detected by STEREO-A COR2, STEREO-B COR2 and SOHO LASCO C3 around 19:24 UT, May
May 22, 2013

M5+ Solar Flare from Filament Eruption (Updated)

21:21 UT (5/23/2013) – Proton levels the eruption are still at the S2 NOAA alert level, down from S3. The particles are very apparent in SOHO/LASCO C2, showing up as “snow” on the images. 1:17 UT (5/23/2013) – Currently, a S2
May 17, 2013

CME may impact the Earth and Spitzer 5/19/2013

16:16 UT – NASA SWRC simulations indicate that the leading edge of the CME will reach Spitzer at 2:56 UT 5/19/2013 and Earth at 11:59 UT 5/19/2013 (+- 7 hrs). Roughly estimated expected maximum Kp index is 5-6 (minor to moderate).
May 17, 2013

Wiggling Loops from 4 Flares – May 13 – 16, 2013

Wiggly Jiggly Loops by 4 flares from an evolving sunspot AR11748 showed us some exciting yet basically benign activity. A little image processing helps us really see certain aspects of the activity. Keep an eye out for wiggling loops set
May 13, 2013

First X-flare of 2013

A new active region peaking around the edge of the sun released an X-class solar flare At 2:17 UT or 10:17 pm EDT, an active region that has not yet rotated into view produced an X1.7 solar flare on May
April 12, 2013

A Decent Threefer Solar Eruption – Flare, CME and Particle Storm

M6.5 solar flare, Earth-bound CME and a particle storm! AR11719 produced the largest flare of the year, an M6.5, peaking in GOES X-ray at 7:16 UT on April 11. First, we have a snapshot of the flare from the SDO/AIA
March 16, 2013

Waiting for a St. Patrick’s Day Aurora

Look at for Aurora tonight and tomorrow at high latitudes! Yesterday’s coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to sweep past Earth in the last half of today (March 16, 2013) sometime around 18UT (+- 7-8 hours). Forecasts are from minor
January 24, 2013

Two CMEs Including One Earth Directed

  Two solar filaments lifted off the sun in beautiful eruptions on January 23, 2013. Both eruptions produced coronal mass ejections or CMEs observed with the SOHO LASCO C2 coronagraph at 3:12 UT and 14:12 UT respectively.   The first
November 10, 2012

Possible CME Glancing Blow on 11/13/2012 at Earth

A C-type CME was detected by STEREO-A COR2 at 5:39 UT on 11/10/2012. The estimated speed is ~900 km/s. Based on preliminary heliospheric modeling carried out at NASA GSFC Space Weather Research Center, it is estimated that the CME may
November 9, 2012

A Slow, Faint CME Headed to Earth

A CME is coming our way! A slow (only ~570 km/s  Type-C), faint CME was detected by LASCO and STEREO around 15:24 UT 11/09/2012 and it is heading in the direction of Earth. Computer models indicate that the leading edge
November 8, 2012

Two Non-Earthbound CMEs May Impact Mars and Several Spacecraft

Two CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) occurred in the early hours of November 8, 2012 (UT), the later one a more significant, O-type CME. The 2 CMEs are denoted with red arrows in this snapshot from the NASA Space Weather Research Center (SWRC)
July 12, 2012

Earth Bound CME Predicted with X1 Flare Event

Possible Moderate to Severe Geomagnetic Storm Sunspot group, AR11520, produced an X1.4 solar flare, peaking in the NOAA GOES X-ray monitor at 16:52 UT (12:52 EDT). This flash of electromagnetic radiation temporarily altered the upper atmosphere changing its ability to
May 6, 2012

AR11476 Comes into a Multicolored View

4 M-class Flares and More A new active region (AR11476) has been rotating into view during the beginning of May 2012. It has been producing CMEs and by May 5th it started releasing small M-class flares and lots of C-class
April 24, 2012

Aurora over Giant’s Causeway and Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim

Gorgeous aurora captured by Martin McKenna! Last night’s geomagnetic storm (April 24, 2012) put on quite a show and this was not even a large event. This is near the childhood homes of some of our esteemed Irish solar physics colleagues!
April 23, 2012

A Little Flare & Some Geomagnetic Activity – April 23, 2012

At 17:40 UT, the Sun produced a C2 solar flare with a radio burst and a SCORE-C CME.  NASA Goddard Space Weather Center predicts it will reach Earth 4/27/2012 at 5:49 UT with only minor impact. Currently, there is a
March 14, 2012

It Just Won’t Quit! More from AR11429!

  Sunspot group or active region AR11429 has almost rotated out of view but it still had enough energy to release an M7.9 X-ray solar flare, a fast coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar energetic particle event (SEP). A
March 11, 2012

More Geomagnetic Storms Predicted for March 11, 2012

    CMEs are on their way to us! Estimated impact is March 11, 2012 around 2-3 PM EDT. High latitude aurora watchers keep lookout the night of March 11, 2012. On March 10, 2012, the sun produced 1 C-class
March 9, 2012

Geomagnetic Storm Picks Up! And AR11429 Flares Again!

      Nature never ceases to surprise and amaze. Just when it looked like the geomagnetic storm from yesterdays CME impacts had fizzled out, Earth’s magnetosphere continues its upset state. Even before the Kp index (a measure of the
March 7, 2012

Double Blast – Exciting Space Weather from AR11429

Sunspot group, AR11429 (Active Region), is at it again. When it first began its journey across the Earthward side of the Sun it released an M-class flare, an X-class flare and several more M flares, along with several CMEs. Early
February 6, 2012

Happy 10th RHESSI!

Ten years ago yesterday (5 February 2002) saw the launch of the Reuven Ramaty High-Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, or RHESSI (pronounced reh-see). RHESSI was designed to study particle acceleration and energy transport during solar flares by observing the highest energy
November 3, 2011

Space Weather This Week: 10/27/2011 – 11/02/2011

Solar Activity Solar activity was at low to moderate levels, with occurrences of several C-class flares and three M class flares (see the list below). Quite a few slow to moderate CMEs were detected emanating from different regions of the
October 26, 2011

Anatomy of a Geomagnetic Storm – What made that great Aurora?

  Saturday, October 22, 2011, started like most any other day, lots of activity of varying size and shape was occurring on the Sun. Most people looking at the Sun that day remember the spectacular lightbulb shaped CME that occurred
October 26, 2011

Happy 5th STEREO!

    A spectacular filament eruption from June 7, 2011 captured by the STEREO Ahead spacecraft with EUVI 304, Cor1 and Cor2. Happy Birthday STEREO!! October 26 ,2011 is the 5th anniversary of the launch of the STEREO mission and
September 6, 2011

M5 flare and a CME to the Side

  At 01:50 UT, sunspot group, AR11283, produced an M5 solar flare and CME (coronal mass ejection) from near the center of the solar disk. The CME  appears to be moving at an angle away from a path straight towards
August 28, 2011

Sunday CME – Activity on 28 August 2011

Well, it has been a fairly quiet couple of weeks since all the activity at the beginning of the month. Early in the morning of 28 August 2011, a small filament erupted with an associated B-class solar flare. Here is
June 7, 2011

A Spectacular Event – A Filament/Prominence Eruption to Blow Your Socks Off!

A solar flare, coronal wave, filament eruption, coronal rain & a coronal mass ejection (CME)!
October 11, 2010

Increased Auroral Activity Oct. 11-12 from a Halo CME Oct. 6, 2010

Around 3:30 UT on October 6, 2010 a filament erupted in the northeast part of the solar disk (upper left area). Moving at around 375 km/s (850,000 miles per hour) the CME combined with the ambient solar wind then over
October 7, 2010

A Solar Eruption as the Earth Blocks SDO’s View of the Sun

A filament erupted in the NE area of the sun. The eruption was observed by SDO and the associated Halo CME was seen by SOHO's C2 and C3 coronagraphs. SDO is currently in eclipse season so during this event the earth moved between SDO and the sun, moving across the sun for a few minutes.
September 22, 2010

3D Visualization of a Coronal Mass Ejection

Our good friends and colleagues at Trinity College Dublin have created a 3D visualization of the propagation of a coronal mass ejection (CME). Using multiscale image processing and 3D visualization the team reconstructed the trajectory of an earth-directed CME observed
September 9, 2010

Solar Active Region’s Farewell Blasts

Just as sunspot group AR11105 rotated out of the Earth’s view it produced a spectacular show. A large prominence erupted along with a C3 solar flare and a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) blasted away from the sun. This great show
September 9, 2010

Solar Eruptions with STEREO Ahead

A View of the Active Sun with EUVI, COR1 and COR2 A very busy active region popped off about ten blasts of solar material over a two-day period (Aug. 31- Sept. 2, 2010). With this composited image and movie three