NASA’s Parker Solar Probe survived one of the most powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) ever recorded as the Probe observed this phenomenon for the first time.
The probe took images of the most powerful CME, an eruption of super-hot gas, or plasma, from the sun’s surface.
“It’s giving @NASASun scientists a better look at space weather and its potential effects on Earth,” the agency stated in a post on X.
Another first! Our Parker Solar Probe flew through an eruption from the Sun, and saw it “vacuuming up” space dust left over from the formation of the solar system. It's giving @NASASun scientists a better look at space weather and its potential effects on Earth.… pic.twitter.com/AcwLXOlI6m
— NASA (@NASA) September 18, 2023
CME can have significant consequences on Earth, including endangering satellites, disrupting communication and navigation technologies, and even knocking out power grids. In 1989, a potent CME caused a massive blackout in Québec, Canada.
Parker’s journey through the CME is helping to prove a 20-year-old theory about the interaction of CMEs with interplanetary dust, with implications for space weather predictions, NASA said.