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Coronal mass ejection

From Academic Kids

A coronal mass ejection (CME) is a solar event which involves a burst of plasma consisting primarily of electrons and protons (in addition to small quantities of heavier elements such as helium, oxygen, and iron). When these CMEs reach the Earth, they often disrupt the Earth's magnetosphere, compressing it on the dayside and extending the nightside tail. When the magnetosphere reconnects on the nightside, it creates trillions of watts of power which is directed back towards the Earth's upper atmosphere. This process can cause particularly strong aurora. CME events, along with solar flares, can disrupt radio transmissions, cause power outages (blackouts), and cause damage to satellites and electrical transmission lines.

See also: solar flare

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