On August 20, 2013 at 4:24 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME, a solar phenomenon which can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later. These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground.
Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 570 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs.
To see images of this CME and read more, visit https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/20130820-nasa-spacecraft-capture-earth-directed-coronal-mass-ejection/index.html#.UhOSCYWC4vQ
This story is a great extension to the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson, Geometry: Space Math Problems—Solar Storms. To access this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.