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Corona Mass Ejection

Post by CME » 07 Nov 2019, 21:11

Impact on Earth
When the ejection is directed towards Earth and reaches it as an interplanetary CME (ICME), the shock wave of traveling mass causes a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt Earth's magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail. When the magnetosphere reconnects on the nightside, it releases power on the order of terawatt scale, which is directed back toward Earth's upper atmosphere.

Solar energetic particles can cause particularly strong aurorae in large regions around Earth's magnetic poles. These are also known as the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) in the northern hemisphere, and the Southern Lights (aurora australis) in the southern hemisphere. Coronal mass ejections, along with solar flares of other origin, can disrupt radio transmissions and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission line facilities, resulting in potentially massive and long-lasting power outages.[11][12]

Energetic protons released by a CME can cause an increase in the number of free electrons in the ionosphere, especially in the high-latitude polar regions. The increase in free electrons can enhance radio wave absorption, especially within the D-region of the ionosphere, leading to Polar Cap Absorption (PCA) events.

Humans at high altitudes, as in airplanes or space stations, risk exposure to relatively intense solar particle events. The energy absorbed by astronauts is not reduced by a typical spacecraft shield design and, if any protection is provided, it would result from changes in the microscopic inhomogeneity of the energy absorption events.[citation needed]
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