On Sunday night at 11:24 p.m. PT, the CME shot out of the sun's northwest limb (around active region 1794) at about 715 miles per second, or about 2,574,000 miles per hour. NASA considers that rate "a fairly fast speed" for this event.… Read more
Although the solar maximum isn't expected until late 2013, we're starting to see some pretty spectacular effects. On Tuesday, the sun erupted in a massive coronal mass ejection, or CME, that sent billions of tons of particles into the solar system in the direction of Earth.
It's expected that this wave of particles will pass Earth within about three days, causing a phenomenon known as a geomagnetic storm. This is normal, and will cause no absolutely direct harm to humans.
The sun enters solar maximum, the period of its cycle in which it is most active, every 11 years. This means we'll see a rather marked increase in the number of coronal mass ejections and flares, with some pretty interesting effects here on Earth. … Read more