A Coronal Mass Ejection also known as “CME” is a very powerful event that could create giant problems for our planet. A CME event could affect the earths magnetosphere throwing Satellites, and other radio transmissions into a frenzy. Potentially taking out power grids knocking out power on a scale never experienced on the planet before.
What exactly is a Coronal Mass Ejection?
To quote NASA Directly: “Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are balloon-shaped bursts of solar wind rising above the solar corona, expanding as they climb. Solar plasma is heated to tens of millions of degrees, and electrons, protons, and heavy nuclei are accelerated to near the speed of light. The super-heated electrons from CMEs move along the magnetic field lines faster than the solar wind can flow”.
Do all CME affect the Earth?
No, not every Solar Ejection will go in the direction of the Earth. But even among those CMEs which are Earth-directed, some will affect Earth more than others. The difference in the strength of CME will determine its affect on Earth. The amount of material ejected, the speed at which it travels, and the strength and direction of the magnetic field carried by the cloud of charged particles will all play a factor in how our planet is affected.
A video of an actual CME taken by NASA:
What would happen to Earth if hit directly by a CME?
When one of these Giant bursts occur on the sun, it sends hot Ionized Plasma full of Radiation into the Earths Magnetic field. This in turn forces our Magnetic field to recoil toward the Earth affecting radio transmission on Earth. The magnetic field on our planet could become so affected Satelites will come crashing down, and power grids will fry thus knocking out power to millions. The Northern Hemisphere will be the most affected by these kind of blasts penetrating the Earths magnetic field.
An example of just what one of these powerful storms can do was seen in Quebec Canada. On March 13th 1989 a blackout struck the Hydro-Quebec Power Grid knocking out power in the area for almost 12 hours. This example of just what can happen when a powerful Solar Storm strikes serves as just a fraction of what one of these storms can truly do. A direct hit with one of these storms being sent towards earth could affect life as we know it.
Threat of Coronal Mass Ejection.