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Space Weather

25 September 2014

At http://phys.org/print330680543.html … asks, what is the difference between a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a solar flare. NASA has produced a video that explains it all in pictures – and in context. They are both explosions on the Sun. A CME is a giant cloud of particles blasted far out into space. Flares are flashes of light on the face of the Sun.

The same subject can be found at www.universetoday.com/114494/astrophoto-the-sun-as-a-work-of-art/ … where we are told they are both energetic events associated with high energy particles. Flares are local and CMEs jet lots of material into the solar system. I can't see that differentiation stopping people from calling them both solar flares – or the solar wind.

At http://phys.org/print330680277.html … space weather is caused by solar flares (is that a misuse of the term?) and coronal mass ejections. It affects conditions in nearby space and the upper atmosphere. A talking shop has been created.

At http://phys.org/print330762309.html … when it comes to Mars some scientists still think in terms of a planet that was once teeming with water and microbial life.. The theory is that CMEs, over time, and the solar wind in general, have taken a toll on Mars. This idea is currently about to be tested by NASAs MAVEN spacecraft which will orbit the planet and study the atmosphere and how it interacts with the solar wind. Mars has a thin atmosphere and its magnetic field is weak.

At www.spaceweather.com … today we have news on MAVENs first data collection. It involves the atmosphere of Mars – which contains oxygen and hydrogen.

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