From the July 2013 issue

The craziest coronal mass ejections

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory keeps track of the Sun's activity all the time. Here are 10 of the best moments it's caught on camera.
By | Published: July 22, 2013 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Tangled magnetic fields caused this region of the Sun to be active.
While coronal mass ejections (CMEs) do cause us problems here on Earth and could cause many more in the future, as Bob Berman indicated in the September issue, the Sun has to point them in our direction in order for them to head toward us. And their magnetic fields have to be aligned opposite ours in order for them to pass through our protective magnetosphere. So try to enjoy these images of the Sun’s violent activity from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, knowing that a) they’ve already happened, and you’re fine, and b) they happen much more often than they affect us.