Headlines > News > Weak CME Arrives and Sparks Aurora

Weak CME Arrives and Sparks Aurora

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:18 pm via: NASA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

On Jan. 9, 2014, at 2:32 p.m. EST, a coronal mass ejection, or CME, that left the sun on Jan. 7, reached near-Earth space.  Coronal mass ejections are giant clouds of solar particles and those particles can initiate a process that leads to aurora near the poles.

First the solar particles and magnetic fields in the CME trigger the release of particles already trapped near Earth, which in turn trigger reactions in the upper atmosphere in which oxygen and nitrogen molecules release photons of light. The result: the Northern and Southern lights.

The aurora shimmered in the night sky over Tromsø, Norway, on Jan. 9, 2014, after a coronal mass ejection arrived in near-Earth space, following a two-day journey from the sun. Image Credit: Courtesy of Harald Albrigtsen

The aurora shimmered in the night sky over Tromsø, Norway, on Jan. 9, 2014, after a coronal mass ejection arrived in near-Earth space, following a two-day journey from the sun. Image Credit: Courtesy of Harald Albrigtsen

The Jan. 7 CME didn’t seem to have a strong affect on the appearance of aurora in this case, however, photographers did catch blue-green shimmers visible in Norway shortly after the CME arrived.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use