On the left is the CME track away from Earth, a yellow dot on the diametrical line on the right

On the left is the CME track away from Earth, a yellow dot on the diametrical line on the right – NASA M2M SPACETIME OFFICE


A massive eruption of solar material, known as a coronal mass ejection or CME, has been detected escaping from the side of the Sun opposite the Earth. at 17:36 UTC on March 12, 2023.

While researchers are still collecting data to determine the origin of the eruption, the CME is believed to have come from the ancient active region AR3234. This active region was on the Earth-facing side of the Sun from late February to early March.when he unleashed nine moderately intense M-Class flares and a powerful X-Class flare.

According to an analysis by NASA’s Moon to Mars Space Weather Office, it was recorded that the CME was traveling at an extraordinarily fast speed of 2,127 kilometers per second, which earned it a speed-based rating of an R-type CME (rare).

A CME simulation shows the burst leaving the Sun (located in the middle of the central white dot) and passing by Mercury (orange dot). Earth is a yellow circle located at the 3 o’clock position.

A circular diagram shows a swirl of colors. The Sun is depicted in the center and the planets and various spaceships are depicted around it. Suddenly, a burst of darker colors moves away from the center point, representing the powerful CME moving at high speed, informs NASA.


The eruption likely hit NASA’s Parker Solar Probe head-on. The spacecraft is currently approaching its 15th closest approach to the Sun (or perihelion, flying 8.5 million kilometers) from the Sun on March 17. On March 13, the spacecraft emitted a green beacon tone that shows the spacecraft is in its nominal operational mode. Scientists and engineers await the next download of data from the spacecraftthat will occur after close approach, for more information about this CME event and any potential impacts.

The flare is known as a CME halo because it appears to spread evenly from the Sun in a halo or ring around the Sun.. Halo CMEs depend on the position of the observer and occur when the solar flare is aligned directly towards Earth or, as in this case, directly away from Earth.

This expanding ring is evident in the view from the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, spacecraft.

SOHO observes the Sun from a location approximately 1.5 million kilometers closer to the Sun along the Sun-Earth line. In the SOHO view, the Sun’s bright surface is blocked out to reveal the much thinner solar atmosphere and solar material erupting around it. The bright spot in the lower right corner of the image is Mercury.

Although the CME originated on the far side of the Sun, its impacts were felt on Earth.. As CMEs hurtle through space, they create a shock wave that can accelerate particles along the CME’s path to incredible speeds, the same way an ocean wave pushes surfers away. Known as solar energetic particles, or SEPs, these fast particles can make the 150 million kilometer journey from the Sun to Earth in about 30 minutes.


Although SEPs are commonly observed after Earth-facing solar flares, they are less common for flares on the far side of the Sun. However, Earth-orbiting spacecraft detected SEPs from the eruption beginning at midnight on March 12, meaning that the CME was powerful enough to trigger a wide cascade of collisions that reached as far as our side of the Sun.