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55.3 MB (2.6 MB compressed)
5000 x 3864 pixels
42.4 x 32.8 cm ⏐ 16.7 x 12.9 in (300dpi)
MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of a coronal mass ejection impacting the Earth s atmosphere. These events, CMEs for short, are powerful releases of solar charged particles (plasma) and magnetic field, travelling on the solar wind. When a CME hits Earth, it can cause a geomagnetic storm which disrupts the planet s magnetosphere, our radio transmissions and electrical power lines. They can damage artificial satellites and cause long-lasting power outages. Humans in orbit are also very vulnerable to these events, whose high-energy particles are not shield by typical spacecraft.
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