Severe Space Weather: What The Sun Taketh Away, It Can Give Back

Image Credit:nasa

A recent story at Wired shows us a particularly frightening reason we should look into making our own electricity at home: coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

What’s a CME?

They begin by comparing the sun to a nightclub to illustrate how much is going on there

A single photon may take 100,000 or more years to travel from the sun's core, where fusion events create them, to its outer edge, from which it can escape into space, due to internal motion

Simply put, there is so much activity in the sun that navigating the throng would take an eternity for humans.

However, leaving the club and entering the cool, clear night in space doesn't usually happen in a very systematic manner

Sometimes, everything is alright when you leave on your own. Other times, there is a haste to leave and a lot of energy all at once pushes out a "door."

When it comes to the sun, a place devoid of bars and clubs, tangled magnetic fields are more of the problem than overcrowding

When things are sufficiently fouled up, the sun may spew out a large number of charged particles.

Most of the time, the third rock from the sun that we name home is not in the path when this gun-like explosion occurs.

The disturbance will be visible to people studying the sun, but nobody else pays much attention. But things can swiftly spiral out of control if it's directed at Earth.

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