Fundamental Aspects of Coronal Mass Ejections

  • Carlos Alexandre WuenscheEmail author
Living reference work entry


The most violent frequently reoccurring events in the solar system are coronal mass ejections. During a high energy cycle of the Sun, or solar max, these can happen as often as six times a day. If the most extreme of these events are focused so they directly impact Earth, the force of impact can be the equivalent of a huge number of nuclear bombs that can generate an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) with devastating effect. Such a pulse could cripple the world’s electrical grids and knock out most satellites in orbit. This chapter describes the so-called CME phenomenon and current understanding of why and how they occur. The final element of the chapter discusses the Earth’s naturally occurring protective systems that minimize the impact of these otherwise deadly occurrences.


Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) Corona Coronagraph Coronal mass ejection (CME) Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) Eleven-year solar max/solar minimum cycle Global Geospace Science (GGS) WIND satellite Helioscope Heliosphere Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (LASCO) Magnetosphere Photosphere Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation (SECCHI) Skylab SMM Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Solar maximum/solar minimum Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) satellite Solar system Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) satellite CACTus (Computer Aided CME Tracking) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INPESão José dos CamposBrazil

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