coronal mass ejection


Definition of 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 National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration previously said that a coronal mass ejection on December 7 shot plasma and magnetic field toward Earth. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "U.S. no longer expected to have rare chance to spot northern lights," 10 Dec. 2020 These coronal mass ejections also ferry particles that can harm astronauts outside of Earth’s protective electromagnetic field. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "What We Just Learned About the Sun from the Fastest Spacecraft Ever," 5 Dec. 2019 Known as coronal mass ejections, these solar storms can dump more than a billion tons of plasma into space at speeds that make the solar wind seem slow. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Europe’s Solar Orbiter Begins Its Journey to the Sun," 7 Feb. 2020 Occasionally, the sun erupts giant amounts of particles known as coronal mass ejections. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "We’ve Never Seen the Sun’s Top or Bottom. Solar Orbiter Will Change That.," 10 Feb. 2020 This will help scientists understand more fully how the energy in the Sun’s magnetic field gets released to heat the corona and drive flares and coronal mass ejections, Alexander said. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "We are entering the Golden Age of studying our Sun," 1 Feb. 2020 The probe also allowed other research teams to measure the outflow of energetic particles like electrons and ions that sometimes produce solar flares or coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "NASA’s Sun-Orbiting Probe Reveals New Secrets of Our Host Star," 6 Dec. 2019 More on the Parker Solar Probe Bursts of these particles may act as a precursor to coronal mass ejection events. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "What We Just Learned About the Sun from the Fastest Spacecraft Ever," 5 Dec. 2019 When this happens, the number and intensity of sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections increases. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Sun: The Life-Giving Magnet in the Sky," 3 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coronal mass ejection.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coronal mass ejection

1974, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of coronal mass ejection was in 1974

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Last Updated

23 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coronal mass ejection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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