Science

Coronal Mass Ejection Heading to Earth Oh Noes! (Video)

Today (August 3), scientists are expecting a giant coronal mass ejection or CME to hit the Earth. The end times are here! Again.

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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12 Comments

  1. The sun should try thinking about baseball.

    or

    I guess I better get a higher SPF.

    or

    The goggles. They do nothing.

    or

    So no jacket then?

    or

    Thank god for the wind chill factor.

    or

    Dude, laser Floyd flare show.

    or

    We’re safe. It’s night time.

  2. Rebecca, I’m glad to see that you were able to get into your apartment. Good thing too, I heard the sun was exploding or something. That could be what’s causing global warming. On a completely unrelated note, I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the aurora tonight!

  3. Also, we should say that even though the flare was physically huge, it was not very powerful. It was only a C-class flare. An M class flare is 10 times as powerful and the point where radio and satellite disruption becomes likely, and an X class flare is 100X more powerful!

    Aaaanywho, it looks like the CME has already hit the ACE spacecraft sitting at the L1 point about a million miles sunward a couple hours ago. Which means that reconnection and aurorae should be picking up any minute now.

    If you are in northern Europe you may be able to see something after sunset, but I’m guessing that if you’re in the US or Canada, you probably won’t get much of a show since it’s still more than 5 hours until sunset right now and things will have probably died down a lot by then.

  4. The CME will likely result in high absorption levels for ionospheric shortwave communications that cross through the polar regions. Not much fun if you are a ham radio operator who likes long distance HF communications (the path from the western USA to Northern Europe will be crap). All the action will be aurora links on VHF.

    /BCT

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