July 11, 2013
Sun Erupts With A CME Toward Earth And Mercury
On July 9, 2013, at 11:09 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground.
Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASAâs Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 375 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs.
The CME may also pass by the Messenger and Juno spacecraft and their mission operators have been notified. If warranted, operators can put spacecraft into safe mode to protect the instruments from the solar material.
In the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs of this strength have usually been mild.
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 if needed.
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