posted on May, 5 2010 @ 10:03 PM
reply to post by elderbob
You are confusing flares with CMEs. They are not the same thing.
An flare is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. Flares are omnidirectional. If the source can be "seen" from Earth the radiation will
strike Earth. It travels at the speed of light and arrives on Earth eight minutes after it is produced. It has virtually no effect on the surface, the
atmosphere absorbs the harmful radiation it before it can reach us. Objects in space (satellites, astronauts) can be affected by powerful flares.
A CME is a burst of matter (charged particles) from the surface of the Sun. It is directional. It travels quickly but no where near the speed of
light, usually taking 3 or 4 days to arrive (if it is aimed at Earth). The result of a CME hitting Earth is geomagnetic disturbance.
Flares can be associated with CMEs, but not always.
[edit on 5/5/2010 by Phage]