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"S" Marks The Spot For Solar Activity
News story originally written on March 10, 1999

Scientists have observed a structure on the sun that might help them forecast coronal mass ejections. CME's can cause problems with communications and damage satellites. They can also disrupt electrical power grids.

An S-shaped pattern was found to appear a few days before a CME. The pattern is most likely caused by twists in the solar magnetic field. Scientists believe that CME's get their energy from the magnetic field on the Sun.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA