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NASA Spacecraft Witness a Coronal Mass Ejection
July 22, 2013

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On July 22, 2013, at 2:24 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space that can affect electronic systems in satellites. Experimental NASA research models based on observations from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, show that the CME was not Earth-directed, but may pass Mars.  It left the sun at around 715 miles per second, which is a fairly fast speed for CMEs.  The CME may also pass by NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft, and its mission operators have been notified. If warranted, operators can put spacecraft into safe mode to protect the instruments from the solar material.

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (http://swpc.noaa.gov) is the U.S. government's official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

Updates will be provided if needed.

Related Links

› Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Space Weather
› View Other Past Solar Activity

Karen C. Fox
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

STEREO-B captured this image of a coronal mass ejection speeding away from the left side of the sun on July 22, 2013.
NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory-Behind spacecraft, or STEREO-B, captured this image of a coronal mass ejection speeding away from the left side of the sun on July 22, 2013, at 3:09 a.m. EDT. The CME is traveling toward Mars. The bright light in the lower right is planet Mercury.
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NASA/STEREO
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Page Last Updated: July 29th, 2013
Page Editor: Holly Zell