A coronal mass ejection (CME) from June 7, 2011 is shown below. Fortunately for us, the trajectory of the CME minimized any major efforts on Earth. If this would have be a C5, you would not be reading this article.
“Wow!” was what everyone who watched this solar flare event and enormous Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) were saying…pretty much all they could say with their jaws dropping the way they were. The view was awesome when seen through the new SDO movie viewer in Chabot’s observatory, which lets visitors see the eruption in multiple combinations of ultraviolet channels and color pallets.
The June 7 CME was among the largest I recall seeing, but with the Sun’s activity heating up, I expect we may see more of this—certainly we’re in for a lot of “normal” flare and CME activity as we approach the next solar maximum, expected to peak sometime in 2012 or 2013.
How was this story reported in the New York Time nine days later?
LATELY, the Sun has been behaving a bit strangely. In 2008 and 2009, it showed the least surface activity in nearly a century. Solar flare activity stopped cold and weeks and months went by without any sunspots, or areas of intense magnetism. Quiet spells are normal for the Sun, but researchers alive today had never seen anything like that two-year hibernation.
For more information on this M2 solar flare, click here.