coronal mass ejection


: a tremendous outburst of energy from the corona of the sun that can cause disruptions in the earth's geomagnetic field
As they had for the January eruption, the researchers relied on an armada of spacecraft to track the disturbance, known as a coronal mass ejection because it originates in the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona.R. Cowen
abbreviation CME
compare solar flare

Examples of coronal mass ejection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The main goals of the mission include studying the sun’s upper atmosphere and various solar phenomenon, such as coronal mass ejections — or massive expulsions of plasma from the sun’s outermost layer. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 2 Sep. 2023 Last month, for example, the probe raced through one of the most intense coronal mass ejections (CMEs) ever observed. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 12 Oct. 2023 The sun, during coronal mass ejections, emits particles that are carried outward by solar wind. Randi Selvey, NBC News, 23 Sep. 2023 This electrostatic shield guards against proton storms caused by explosions from the sun called coronal mass ejections, and could be deployed only during those events while the ship relies on another system for day-to-day protection. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 8 May 2023 Scientists have good reasons to study how the sun works: Behavior below and within the corona affects the formation of solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can wreak havoc on Earth if they get hurled in our direction. WIRED, 20 Sep. 2023 The sun has often ejected small amounts of material in a similar fashion, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), but the Betelgeuse belch was 400 billion times larger than the average CME. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 23 May 2023 Solar particle party During a coronal mass ejection, the sun expels billions of tons of material, some of which travel toward our planet. Randi Selvey, NBC News, 23 Sep. 2023 These peaks are associated with more coronal mass ejections, which might cause more widespread auroras or damage electrical and communication systems. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coronal mass ejection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coronal mass ejection was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near coronal mass ejection

Cite this Entry

“Coronal mass ejection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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