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Coronal Mass Ejection Headed Toward Mercury and Venus
July 2, 2013

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On July 1, 2013, at 6:09 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 based on NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory show that the CME was not Earth-directed and it left the sun at around 570 miles per second.

The CME may, however, pass by NASA’s Messenger, Spitzer and STEREO-B satellites, and their mission operators have been notified. There is only very slight particle radiation associated with this event, which is what would normally concern operators of interplanetary spacecraft, because the particles can trip computer electronics aboard interplanetary spacecraft. 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 as 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.

SOHO captured this CME on July 1, 2013.
On July 1, 2013, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection, or CME – shown here as the lighter-colored gas moving off to the left -- which soared off in the direction of Venus and Mars. This image was captured by the joint ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.
Image Credit: 
ESA and NASA/SOHO
Image Token: 
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Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
Page Editor: Holly Zell