NASA Captures Massive Sun Blast

Huge solar explosion will affect spacecraft but not Earth
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2012 4:43 AM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2012 6:32 AM CDT

A blast of super-heated plasma big enough to scorch dozens of Earths erupted from the sun yesterday, providing NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory with stunning images. The coronal mass ejection, which followed a solar flare, was not aimed toward Earth, but two NASA spacecraft—including the Spitzer Space Telescope—will feel the effects of the solar storm, the Los Angeles Times reports. NASA officials say that while the radiation may cause problems, the spacecraft are designed to cope, and they welcome the opportunity to understand more about the effects of solar storms on the vessels. (Read more NASA stories.)

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