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History and Development of Coronal Mass Ejections as a Key Player in Solar Terrestrial RelationshipCoronal mass ejections (CMEs) are relatively a recently discovered phenomenon in 1971, some 15 years into the Space Era. It took another two decades to realize that CMEs are the most important players in solar terrestrial relationship as the root cause of severe weather in Earths space environment. CMEs are now counted among the major natural hazards because they cause large solar energetic particle (SEP) events and major geomagnetic storms, both of which pose danger to humans and their technology in space and ground. Geomagnetic storms discovered in the 1700s, solar flares discovered in the 1800s, and SEP events discovered in the 1900s are all now found to be closely related to CMEs via various physical processes occurring at various locations in and around CMEs, when they interact with the ambient medium. This article identifies a number of key developments that preceded the discovery of white-light CMEs suggesting that CMEs were waiting to be discovered. The last two decades witnessed an explosion of CME research following the launch of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory mission in 1995, resulting in the establishment of a full picture of CMEs.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Gopalswamy, N. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
April 20, 2017
Publication Date
March 3, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Geoscience Letters
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
ISSN: 2196-4092
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits