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CME Impact Animation

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600 KB QuickTime simulation of a CME impact on Earth's magnetosphere.

With the sun offscreen to the left, the earth's magnetosphere is visualized as a series of translucent blue shells that depict the magnetic fields at 60, 75, and 85 degrees from the equator.  The electrically charged CME travels through the magnetosphere in roughly one hour, compressing the magnetic field lines and inducing a buildup in the earth's auroras.  After the CME passes, the field lines quickly return to their original configuration and the auroras return to their pre-impact energy levels.  For visual clarity, this simulation shows the auroral increase peaking well after the CME passes.

After the movie stops playing, you can drag the movie's scroll-bar to view specific images in the animation. Credit: Digital Radiance.

Copyright 1999 Digital Radiance, Inc.  All rights reserved.