For the first time, with the help NASA’s Stereo-A spacecraft scientists have watched the evolution of a huge solar storm, from its origin on the sun until its collision with Earth 93 million miles later. The unprecedented look at a coronal mass ejection (CME), revealed on August 18 during a NASA press conference. CMEs are billion-ton clouds of solar plasma launched by the same explosions that spark solar flares. When they sweep past our planet, they can cause auroras, radiation storms, and in extreme cases power outages. Tracking these clouds and predicting their arrival is an important part of space weather forecasting. According to Alysha Reinard, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center it’s a big advance, now they are actually seeing the CME moving across the sky, it’s amazing to see, and it really helps their predictions.
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