About the STEREO Mission
Why the need for STEREO?
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), are powerful eruptions that can blow
up to 10 billion tons of the Sun's atmosphere into interplanetary
space. Traveling away from the Sun at speeds of approximately one
million mph (1.6 million kph), CMEs can create major disturbances in
the interplanetary medium and trigger severe magnetic storms when they
collide with Earth's magnetosphere.
Large geomagnetic storms directed towards Earth can damage and even
destroy satellites, are extremely hazardous to Astronauts when outside
of the protection of the Space Shuttle performing Extra Vehicular
Activities (EVAs), and they have been known to cause electrical power
CMEs: a Fundamental Science Challenge
Solar ejections are the most powerful drivers of the Sun-Earth
connection. Yet despite their importance, scientists don't fully
understand the origin and evolution of CMEs, nor their structure or
extent in interplanetary space. STEREO's unique stereoscopic images
of the structure of CMEs is enabling scientists to determine their
fundamental nature and origin.
Last Revised: Thursday, 05-Jun-2008 10:25:26 EDT
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