NASA study says Earth survived Sun’s two coronal mass ejection

Posted on Jul 26 2014 - 2:31pm by Abby Smith

NASA – According to a recent study, two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) erupted from the Sun on 23rd July 2012 and traveled with a speed of 3,000 KM per second towards Earth. Fortunately for us, they did not strike Earth’s surface, but instead just missed it.

If the CMEs had hit Earth, NASA has said, they would have devastated our electrical systems. To clarify, a coronal mass ejection is huge burst of solar wind and magnetic fields from the Sun.

CME

“If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire,” said Daniel Baker of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” he added.

The CMEs would have knocked out power for most parts of the world, NASA has said. Radio signals and GPS signals would have also been compromised, and satellites could have experienced huge amounts of damage. In total, the eruption would have cost the world around $2 trillion in damages.

Although the eruption just barely missed Earth, it did hit the Stereo A spacecraft, which allowed NASA to study the CMEs without having to experience them firsthand. It opened the world’s eyes to just how powerful and destructive a severe solar eruption can be.

CME 1

NASA has reported that these CMEs are most likely the largest ones ever recorded. The only other solar eruption that has ever come close is the 1859 burst called the Carrington event. The solar storm just barely missed Earth, and was the largest solar storm ever recorded. Until now, that is.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” said Baker. “We need to be prepared.”

CME SUN

Researchers are now warning people to take precautions in case a solar eruption does hit Earth in the future. They are saying to always keep gas tanks half full, and plastic water containers frozen in the freezer. It sounds almost superstitious, but it could save someone’s life if a CME ever hits Earth!

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  • PJ_K

    An odd headline: “NASA study says Earth survived Sun’s two coronal mass ejections”. If Earth hadn’t survived them, you wouldn’t be able to report on it!

  • UhHuh

    A near miss almost that never was is opinion and not news. Reason why doomsday science world is so fixated on end of the world
    porn is that it keeps useless eaters depressed for depopulation.

  • Christopher Wortman

    If only it had hit and we got a fresh start in life! :( That would have been incredible!

  • Douglas4517

    A couple of things come to mind:
    Seems silly to worry about whether climate change is man-made or not when something we have absolutely no control over can wreak havoc on earth.

    And…
    “Researchers are now warning people to take precautions in case a solar
    eruption does hit Earth in the future. They are saying to always keep
    gas tanks half full, and plastic water containers frozen in the freezer.”

    “The CMEs would have knocked out power for most parts of the world, NASA
    has said. Radio signals and GPS signals would have also been
    compromised, and satellites could have experienced huge amounts of
    damage”

    What would be the point of keeping your gas tank half full if the electronics in your car have a good chance of being fried by CMEs? Are they assuming that only our electric grid would be affected?

  • Jay D Belford

    Lions … and tigers … and bears … oh my ….

  • haveagoodlife

    I don’t see what the other commenters are talking about.
    If a CME were to hit Earth it would pretty much do what the article describes.
    Preparing for one is a good idea.

  • bachcole

    Translation: NASA wants more money.

    • drnimrod

      Bingo.

      • bachcole

        Don’t get me wrong; I know that CMEs are very dangerous. But it just strikes me (excuse the pun) that scientists are always raising the alarm in order to get funding. And if the 2 CMEs missed, then why is that news, other than to scare people? If one of the CMEs had hit directly with bad polarization, then we would not be having this conversation.

        • SuperHans

          “If it doesn’t affect us, don’t report on it.” A great journalistic philosophy.

  • X-tremeAstronomerTour

    Abby Smith and NASA are wanna be astronomers that are looking to add seconds to their 15 minutes of fame. . . please stop creating headlines to grab attention that “most likely” won’t happen as it would need to fall under the category as “A Perfect Storm”. . . X-tremeAstornomer!

  • Paul Barwick

    My guess is that the article was outsourced. One gets what one pays for…

  • topcat_99

    Imagine if NASA had concluded we didn’t survive! What an opportunity for the trial lawyers that would have been.

  • Mordechai Vanunu

    G-D shall burn every Israhellis in the heat of that sun!

    • Jay D Belford

      Who ??? How ??? Are you from Colorado ??? You need to lay off the ganja, dudine….

      • http://churchofsmoke.org/ Jose

        Probably an alcoholic from DC.

  • saturn88

    One of two things has apparently happened: the writer/editor had an impossible work load and was unable to self edit, or the work had been outsourced to someone outside the US. In other words, the same kind of thing that’s happening in many US industries.

  • larryx

    I agree, lousy article…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Webtelly Kenneth Gardner

    It was deflected by the horse that Jesus was riding, just outside of town.

  • http://cheshiredave.com/ Cheshire Isaacs

    I was going to comment similarly. This site needs a good editor, stat — the article was pretty poorly written.

  • Rebecca Knowles

    Great content, excellent images, but HORRENDOUS grammatical errors throughout. Too bad. Otherwise I would have shared this link with friends, family, and colleagues.

    • mdg1019

      You forgot the comma after Otherwise.

      • dvsa

        ….. forgot A comma

      • K

        Why does it matter? I don’t see you with a degree in Internet Grammar. You forgot your quotes.

      • Ben

        That comma that you’re so sure about is optional – correct but not required. I think it reads better without it.

      • SuperHans

        “Otherwise” does not need a capital “O” if it does not begin a sentence.

  • SloopJB

    Wow, CMEs contain more than ‘1015 grams of solar material’ – thats a whole kilo of sun trash, I’m sure it would almost wipe us out. LOL. Idiot yanks, clueless about metric units..

    • nunya biznez

      the author was obviously a british twat you british twat.

      • SloopJB

        She’s born and bred in Sioux Falls, oh how british.. Thats what happens when you don’t check your facts, makes you look really stupid. Or you’re clueless about geography. Either way you’re the dumb fück.

        • nunya biznez

          liar. check your facts homo.

          • Jay D Belford

            Okay … facts checked … and SloopJB was … right, nunya biznez. What’s your problem, girlfriend?

          • nunya biznez

            lmao, so cute when you lie about stuff you don’t even comprehend.

    • Dutchkin R

      That line — “very large and dynamic structures that can contain more than 10^15 grams of solar material” — was probably lifted directly from Encyclopaedia Britannica (or from somewhere else that lifted it from there). I don’t see any error related to someone clueless about metric units. The error probably has to do with copy and paste not preserving the formatting on the exponent.

      • SloopJB

        Maybe it is a copy & paste error, but it’s not understanding WHAT you’ve pasted that is the problem. If u don’t know what a gram is or don’t understand basic maths then 1015 is no different to 10^15..

  • borbor1

    What a bunch of yahoos. You can’t even write English and you clearly have no idea about the science you are feebly attempting to write about. Seriously why did google news send me to this shitty site?

    • agamemnus

      Unbelievable.

      • http://lango.us/ David Lango

        How about a report on Fukushima? I hear it’s still out of control.

    • Christoph

      I agree. This was a title in search of an article.

    • GuestPoster

      Because Google’s news picking algorithms have yet to be able to determine the good articles from the shitty ones? Not that Google cares. We all clicked through thinking it was going to be a well written article. (And Google got their ad impressions which is the important thing.)

      GP