A CME Trifecta (January 9, 2004)
Hi-res TIF image (2.9M)
Over a period of about 34 hours, at least three solar storms (what we
call coronal mass ejections or CMEs) blasted away from the Sun on
January 7-8, 2004. In the LASCO C2 coronagraph frames, the first CME
begins at about 4:30 UT on the 7th and heads down and to the left.
The second follows suit a few hours after at 9:54 UT. Although there
is one gap in the data, the third CME is in progress at 5:54 on the
8th, which also appears to originate from the same area, apparently
Active Region 537. A CME is a solar storm that blasts billions of
tons of particles into space at millions of miles per hour. The
likelihood that these will have a strong impact on Earth is low since
they are not aimed our way. Still, the active region will be
rotating around to aim more storms towards Earth over the coming
weekend...and is still growing.
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