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Three Different CMEs (March 3, 2005)


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The LASCO coronagraphs, which create artificial solar eclipses by blocking the light of the solar disk so we can see the much fainter glow of the Sun's hot corona, observed a series of three coronal mass ejections (CMEs) over about 12 hours beginning late February 28, 2005. Each one appeared quite differently from the others. All of these were determined to have originated from the far-side of the Sun. The first event presented an uneven ragged front that spread across much of the lower half of the Sun. The second CME seemed to blossom out from a narrower area into a big lightbulb-shape with a bright center. The third CME, which followed immediately on the heels of the second CME, blasted out above the Sun in a fainter, more diffuse push with a narrow and darker center. It should be noted that the second, bulbous CME corresponds best to the most traditional shape of a CME.

CMEs still occur, though less frequently because the Sun is definitely in a less active period of its 11-year solar cycle.Clearly though, some activity continues.

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