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Coronal mass ejections (CME) are huge bubbles of gas ejected from the Sun over the course of several hours (Tousey, 1973; Brueckner, 1974; MacQueen et al., 1974; Gosling et al., 1974; for a review, see Hundhausen, 1996). They seem to be more related to prominence eruptions than solar flares. When travelling out from the Sun, term interplanetary CME (or ICME) is often used.

There are more CME events during maximum solar cycle years than during minimum years: number of daily events increase from about 0.5 to about 2.5. It has been shown that the major geomagnetic storms are created by CMEs hitting the Earth.

References

  • Brueckner, G. E., The behaviour of the outer solar corona (3 Ro to 10 Ro) during a large solar flare observed from OSO-7 in white light, in Coronal Disturbances, edited by G. Newkirk, p. 333, IAU, 1974.
  • Gosling, J. T., E. Hildner, R. M. MacQueen, R. H. Munro, A. I. Poland, and C. L. Ross, Mass ejections from the sun: A view from Skylab, J. Geophys. Res., 79, 4581, 1974.
  • Hundhausen, A. J., Coronal mass ejections: A summary of SMM observations from 1980 and 1984-1989, in The Many Faces of the Sun, edited by K. Strong, J. Saba, and B. Haisch, Springer-Verlag, 1996.
  • Hundhausen, A. J., in Cosmic Winds and the Heliosphere, edited by J. R. Jokipii, C. P. Sonett, and M. S. Gianpapa, U. Arizona, Tuscon ??
  • MacQueen, R. M., J. A. Eddy, J. T. Gosling, E. Hildner, R. H. Munro, G. A. Newkirk, Jr., A. I. Poland, and C. L. Ross, The outer corona as observed from Skylab: Preliminary results, Astrophys. J. Lett., 187, L85, 1974.
  • Tousey, R., The solar corona, Space Res., 13, 713, 1973.
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