As Seen by STEREO-A: The Carrington-Class CME of 2012

STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is a solar observation mission, it consists of two space-based observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit (STEREO-A), the other trailing behind (STEREO-B). The two nearly identical spacecraft were launched in 2006 into orbits around the Sun that cause them to respectively pull farther ahead of and fall gradually behind the Earth. This enables stereoscopic imaging of the Sun and solar phenomena, such as coronal mass ejections.

STEREO-A, at a position along Earth’s orbit where it has an unobstructed view of the far side of the Sun, could clearly observe possibly the most powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) of solar cyle 24 on July 23, 2012. The flare erupted in the lower right quadrant of the solar disk from a large active region. The material launched into space in a direction towards STEREO-A. This created the ring-like ‘halo’ CME visible in the STEREO-A coronagraph, COR-2 (blue circular image). As the CME expanded beyond the field of view of the COR-2 imager, the high energy particles reached STEREO-A, and caused the snow-like noise in the image. Researchers have been analyzing the data ever since, and they have concluded that the storm was one of the strongest in recorded history. It might have been stronger than the Carrington Event itself.

The solar storm of 1859, also known as the Carrington Event, was a powerful geomagnetic solar storm in 1859 during solar cycle 10. A solar flare or coronal mass ejection hit Earth’s magnetosphere and induced the largest known solar storm, which was observed and recorded by Richard C. Carrington. The intense geomagnetic storm caused global telegraph lines to spark, setting fire to some telegraph offices and disabling the ‘Victorian Internet.” A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect on modern power grids and telecommunication networks.

Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio


Posted 2 months ago with 1,061 notes
Tagged:Astronomysciencecarrington eventsolar flaresolar stormHeliophysicssunsolar activitynasastereo agifspacecme

  1. freespiritspore reblogged this from spaceplasma
  2. coldsmog reblogged this from spaceplasma
  3. moja-moja reblogged this from spaceplasma
  4. tr1angl3 reblogged this from female-only
  5. female-only reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  6. allianceisgone reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  7. eeeein reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  8. bohemianegyptain reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  9. tizzl-kuti reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  10. charisowo reblogged this from atomsandatoms and added:
    this was what scared the shit out of me when i was 9. I was watching a show about solar storms and it said the next...
  11. jryanm reblogged this from galaxyclusters
  12. dralpaca reblogged this from kuroelfader
  13. jmjm78 reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  14. kuroelfader reblogged this from ark289
  15. sweetcherryblue reblogged this from hellotoxoplasma
  16. ark289 reblogged this from davod
  17. davod reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  18. the-king-of-the-lolis reblogged this from charrrrls
  19. hellotoxoplasma reblogged this from marinegruntlife
  20. charrrrls reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  21. kevin00101 reblogged this from spaceplasma
  22. ringoftheanscestors reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  23. nalicialove reblogged this from spaceplasma
  24. temblorjove449 reblogged this from safe-net
  25. safe-net reblogged this from trigonometry-is-my-bitch
  26. dripping-euphoric reblogged this from megacosms