August 8th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

Coronal Mass Ejections

A coronal mass ejection, or CME, is a burst of solar winds, plasma and magnetic fields released into space. CMEs are sometimes associated with solar flares and other activity. If a CME reaches Earth, it's referred to as an interplanetary CME. On Earth, such activity can interrupt radio communications and damage satellites and electrical transmission lines.

CMEs reaching Earth can also produce strong auroras around Earth's magnetic poles, known as the Northern and Southern Lights.

Read more on coronal mass ejections.


Filed under: Glossary
August 8th, 2011
03:50 PM ET

Birds of a Feather

"NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft briefly flew in formation over the Edwards Air Force Base Test Range on Aug. 2, 2011. The aircraft were scheduled to be in the air on the same day, NASA 911 (plane in the foreground) on a flight crew proficiency flight, and NASA 905 (rear) on a functional check flight following maintenance operations.

Since both aircraft were scheduled to be in the air at the same time, SCA pilot Jeff Moultrie of Johnson Space Center's Aircraft Operations Directorate took the opportunity to have both SCA's fly in formation for about 20 minutes while NASA photographer Carla Thomas captured still and video imagery from a NASA Dryden F/A-18. In addition to Moultrie, NASA 905's check flight crew included pilot Arthur "Ace" Beall and flight engineer Henry Taylor while NASA 911 was flown by Larry LaRose, Steve Malarchick and Bob Zimmerman from NASA Johnson and Frank Batteas and Bill Brockett from NASA Dryden."

Source: NASA

Filed under: Light up the screen

Contributors

  • Elizabeth LandauElizabeth Landau
    Writer/Producer
  • Sophia DengoSophia Dengo
    Senior Designer