A giant explosion on the far side of the Sun hits the Earth with high-energy particles

A giant explosion on the far side of the Sun hits the Earth with high-energy particles
A giant explosion on the far side of the Sun hits the Earth with high-energy particles
Anonim

Imagine an explosion on the far side of the Sun so powerful that we can feel it here on Earth. This happened on July 13th.

When space weather forecasters first saw this explosion, there was a moment of excitement. The impact from a flash of this power could be a real disaster for us. He seemed to be heading straight for Earth. However, data from NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft showed the opposite. In fact, the CME was heading straight away from us - an event on the far front.

Now for the fun part:

Although the explosion occurred on the far side of the Sun, it still showered the Earth with high-energy particles. The Energetic and Relativistic Nuclei and Electron (ERNE) detector aboard SOHO detected a burst of hard radiation shortly after the CME appeared.

How did this radiation reach our planet?

Rami Vainio, professor of space physics at the University of Turku (Finland) working with ERNE data, says that "it is impossible to answer this question definitely without detailed analysis involving multiple spacecraft." However, it suggests that a global shock wave could have arisen on the far side of the Sun during CME take-off. The overflowing particles could spiral into our planet.

Of particular interest are the green data points in the graph above. These are the most energetic protons that ERNE can detect. An increase in green after CME indicates unusually "hard" radiation - such as that generated at the leading edge of a powerful CME.

The source of the explosion could have been the same sunspot (AR2838) that produced the first X-flare of the 25th solar cycle on July 3. This sunspot is currently passing through the far side of the Sun, roughly where the CME came from.

AR2838 is expected to return within the next week - and then maybe the real fun will begin …

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