The brightness in the lower right corner represent a cloud of solar material bursting off the sun in a coronal mass ejection, or CME, on June 11, 2013. This picture, captured by the joint ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, is what's called a coronagraph in which the bright light of the sun is blocked out to better see the solar atmosphere, the corona. Credit: ESA and NASA/SOHO
On June 11, 2013, at 2:39 p.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 show that the CME was not Earth-directed and it left the sun at around 765 miles per second. It may, however, travel pass Mars and may pass by NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft. STEREO's mission operators have been notified. If warranted, operators can place spacecraft into safe mode to protect instruments from the solar material.
Updates will be provided as needed.
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.