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Four different instruments on SOHO show a large CME on Nov. 6, 1997. The sun is at the center, with three coronagraph images of different sizes around it. The streaks of white light are from protons hitting the SOHO cameras producing a snowy effect typical of a significant flare. ..Credit: NASA/SOHO..---..CME WEEK: What To See in CME Images  Two main types of explosions occur on the sun: solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Unlike the energy and x-rays produced in a solar flare – which can reach Earth at the speed of light in eight minutes – coronal mass ejections are giant, expanding clouds of solar material that take one to three days to reach Earth. Once at Earth, these ejections, also called CMEs, can impact satellites in space or interfere with radio communications. During CME WEEK from Sept. 22 to 26, 2014, we explore different aspects of these giant eruptions that surge out from the star we live with.   When a coronal mass ejection blasts off the sun, scientists rely on instruments called coronagraphs to track their progress. Coronagraphs block out the bright light of the sun, so that the much fainter material in the solar atmosphere -- including CMEs -- can be seen in the surrounding space.   CMEs appear in these images as expanding shells of material from the sun's atmosphere -- sometimes a core of colder, solar material (called a filament) from near the sun's surface moves in the center. But mapping out such three-dimensional components from a two-dimensional image isn't easy. Watch the slideshow to find out how scientists interpret what they see in CME pictures.   The images in the slideshow are from the three sets of coronagraphs NASA currently has in space. One is on the joint European Space Agency and NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. SOHO launched in 1995, and sits between Earth and the sun about a million miles away from Earth. The other two coronagraphs are on the two spacecraft of the NASA Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, mission, which launched in 2006. The two STEREO spacecraft are both currently viewing the far side of the sun.   Together these instruments help scientists create a three-dimensional model of any CME as its journey unfolds through interplanetary space. Such information can show why a given characteristic of a CME close to the sun might lead to a given effect near Earth, or any other planet in the solar system...<b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html" rel="nofollow">NASA image use policy.</a></b>  <b><a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html" rel="nofollow">NASA Goddard Space Flight Center</a></b> enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. <b>Follow us on <a href="http://twitter.com/NASAGoddardPix" rel="nofollow">Twitter</a></b> <b>Like us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greenbelt-MD/NASA-Goddard/395013845897?ref=tsd" rel="nofollow">Facebook</a></b> <b>Find us on <a href="http://instagram.com/nasagoddard?vm=grid" rel="nofollow">Instagram</a></b>
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JSC2005-E-17948 (25 April 2005) --- Astronaut Leroy Chiao (right), Expedition 10 commander and NASA ISS science officer; cosmonaut Salizhan S. Sharipov, flight engineer representing Russia's Federal Space Agency; and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy are seated in their chairs after extraction from the Soyuz TMA-5 capsule. The pre-dawn landing occurred on April 25, 2005 (Kazakhstan time) northeast of the Kazakhstan town of Arkalyk to wrap up a six month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for Chiao and Sharipov and a ten-day mission for Vittori. The twice-flown Italian astronaut participated under a commercial contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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Moving eastward across the southern part of Gale Crater, this image from NASA Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows more dark material deposited from the large channel through the SW rim of crater; material has a sharp edge where it overlays the crater floor.
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JSC2005-E-17946 (25 April 2005) --- Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Expedition 10 commander and NASA ISS science officer; cosmonaut Salizhan S. Sharipov (out of frame), flight engineer representing Russia's Federal Space Agency; and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Roberto Vittori (out of frame) of Italy speak with members of the media following their pre-dawn landing in a Soyuz TMA-5 capsule. The landing occurred on April 25, 2005 (Kazakhstan time) northeast of the Kazakhstan town of Arkalyk to wrap up a six month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for Chiao and Sharipov and a ten-day mission for Vittori. The twice-flown Italian astronaut participated under a commercial contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.  Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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JSC2005-E-17967 (25 April 2005) --- Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Expedition 10 commander and NASA ISS science officer, is greeted by his wife after arriving back to Star City, Russia. Chiao; cosmonaut Salizhan S. Sharipov (not pictured), flight engineer representing Russia's Federal Space Agency; and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Roberto Vittori (not pictured) of Italy brought their Soyuz TMA-5 capsule to a pre-dawn landing on April 25, 2005 (Kazakhstan time) northeast of the Kazakhstan town of Arkalyk to wrap up a six month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for Chiao and Sharipov and a ten-day mission for Vittori. The twice-flown Italian astronaut participated under a commercial contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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JSC2005-E-16317 (15 April 2005) --- Astronaut John L. Phillips, Expedition 11 NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer, blows a kiss goodbye to his family as the Expedition 11 crew boards the bus that will take them to the launch pad. Cosmonaut Sergei K. Krikalev, commander representing Russia's Federal Space Agency; Phillips; and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a two-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch occurred at daybreak on April 15, 2005 (Kazakhstan time). Krikalev and Phillips will spend six months on the Station, replacing Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, while Vittori will spend eight days on the ISS under a commercial contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency, returning to Earth with Chiao and Sharipov on April 25.  Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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JSC2000-E-20603 (February 2000) --- Astronaut William M. Shepherd, Expedition One commander, prepares to don an Orlan space suit in order to rehearse a spacewalk in the Hydrolab facility at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.
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JSC2000-E-20600 (February 2000) --- Astronaut William M. Shepherd, Expedition One commander, prepares to don an Orlan space suit in order to rehearse a spacewalk in the Hydrolab facility at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.
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This image of the city of Tokyo was acquired on March 22, 2000 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image the Earth for the next 6 years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.  This false color infrared image covers an area 60 km wide and 75 km long in three bands of the short wavelength infrared region, with a spatial resolution of 15 m. It shows part of the Tokyo metropolitan area extending south to Yokohama; included are the Ginza District, Haneda airport and the Imperial Palace. To the west, Tokyo is hemmed in by mountains, covered with forests (displayed in red); on the southeast, Tokyo Bay is one of the world's great harbors.  http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02607
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