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3 NASA Satellites Recreate Solar Eruption in 3-D

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3 NASA Satellites Recreate Solar Eruption in 3-D

Post by Dragon on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:49 am

The more solar observatories, the merrier: Scientists have developed new models to see how shocks associated with coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, propagate from the Sun — an effort made possible only by combining data from three NASA satellites to produce a much more robust mapping of a CME than any one could do alone.

Much the way ships form bow waves as they move through water, CMEs set off interplanetary shocks when they erupt from the Sun at extreme speeds, propelling a wave of high-energy particles. These particles can spark space weather events around Earth, endangering spacecraft and astronauts.

Understanding a shock’s structure — particularly how it develops and accelerates — is key to predicting how it might disrupt near-Earth space. But without a vast array of sensors scattered through space, these things are impossible to measure directly. Instead, scientists rely upon models that use satellite observations of the CME to simulate the ensuing shock’s behavior.

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Dragon
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Re: 3 NASA Satellites Recreate Solar Eruption in 3-D

Post by Dragon on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:50 am



Using data from three different satellites, scientists have developed new models that recreate, in 3-D, CMEs and shocks, separately. This movie illustrates the recreation of a CME and shock that erupted from the Sun on March 7, 2011.

The pink lines show the CME structure and the yellow lines show the structure of the shock - a side effect of the CME that can spark space weather events around Earth.

 
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Re: 3 NASA Satellites Recreate Solar Eruption in 3-D

Post by Dragon on Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:53 am



A coronal mass ejection launched from the sun's eastern limb on May 9th could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field today. A comet dove into the sun on May 11th and seemed to trigger a massive eruption--emphasis on seemed. A comet goes in; a CME comes out.

The comet disintegrated as much as a million kilometers above the stellar surface. There's no known way that the wispy, vaporous remains of a relatively lightweight comet could cause a billion-ton cloud of hot plasma to fly away from the sun at 400 km/s (the observed speed of the CME).

 
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