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Space NASA Science

Solar Eruption To Reach Earth Soon 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the everybody-duck dept.
rastos1 writes "Spacecraft from NASA recently observed an eruption on the Sun sending billions of tons of particles toward Earth. The solar eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, occurred Tuesday at 1:24 a.m. EDT (0524 GMT) and sent charged particles streaking outward at 380 miles per second. That's just over 1.3 million mph (2.2 million km/h). The solar fallout from the sun storm is expected to reach Earth over the next few days. Interestingly, an unnamed icy comet from the outer solar system dove into the sun and disintegrated nearly a the same time (video)."
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Solar Eruption To Reach Earth Soon

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  • NBD, it seems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) <afacini.gmail@com> on Friday August 23, 2013 @09:22AM (#44654423)

    "These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground," NASA officials explained in a statement. [Solar Max Photos: Sun Storms of 2013]

    Wednesday's solar storm erupted just 21 hours after another powerful coronal mass ejection (NASA calls them CMEs) on Tuesday (Aug. 20). That solar tempest also sent billions of tons of solar particles on their way to Earth.

    So maybe if you have satellite TV you'll see a few spotty moments, but nothing to worry about.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday August 23, 2013 @09:39AM (#44654731)

    Putting it in terms relative to the speed of light does help a lot. It won't make a huge difference to most casual readers, but anyone who knows that the Earth is roughly 8 lightminutes away from the sun (fairly common knowledge) can easily use the .11c to figure out exactly how fast it is in a meaningful way. Using mph/kph isn't meaningful to most readers because it's on such a different scale from anything else we'd normally measure in mph/kph.

  • Check your math (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barlevg (2111272) on Friday August 23, 2013 @09:40AM (#44654755)
  • Re:NBD, it seems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Friday August 23, 2013 @09:55AM (#44654963)

    Chill dude. Stop get off the news channels for a bit. Go out get a job, volunteer.
    Bitching on the internet, and trying to twist every new article into being relevant to your particular we are doomed senserio. Isn't going to help anyone, and it just makes you feel bad.

    If the worlds going to end. Might as well go out and enjoy yourself.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday August 23, 2013 @10:18AM (#44655343) Homepage

    But it is the one written as "Oh, isn't it interesting that..." in the summary. I don't like *wink-nudge* suggestions like that in scientific summaries. Just say it's unrelated.

    Except, can we conclusively say it's unrelated??

    Certainly the two events were correlated -- if the CME happened at pretty much the same time as the comet impact, it's definitely interesting to note that.

    I mean, what are the odds that at mostly the same time you're seeing the one event, the other has just happened? In all likelihood the comet didn't have enough mass to have any affect on the sun, but it's definitely not obvious why the two events should happen so closely together.

    If I crash my car into a lamp post, and at that same time the building next to me explodes ... it's hard not to think "WTF happened here?". You wouldn't expect my impact with the lamp post to have enough energy or connection to the exploding building but you'd certainly notice it.

    So, either this is a really freak occurrence where two interesting but totally unrelated things happened at the same time (and I have no reason to believe it isn't) .. or something really fascinating was at work that nobody has a clue about.

    Of course, it's a completely un-testable thing since we can't just crash comets into the sun on demand ... but I would definitely agree with wording at as "Interestingly", if for nothing else than the sheer coincidence of the timing when you're talking about things on an astronomical scale.

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