Editor’s Note: This week we’re at the virtual 238th AAS Meeting. Along with a team of authors from Astrobites, we will be writing updates on selected events at the meeting and posting each day. Follow along here or at astrobites.com. The usual posting schedule for AAS Nova will resume on June 14th.
SPD George Elery Hale Prize Lecture: The Evolution of Our Understanding of Coronal Mass Ejections (by Tarini Konchady)
A CME as seen by Skylab’s coronagraph on August 10, 1973. The CME is on the right side of the image.
This year’s recipient of the Hale Prize is Russell Howard (Naval Research Laboratory), for “his influential contributions to the discovery, measurement, and physical understanding of coronal mass ejections and their role in space weather, and for his outstanding leadership in the development, deployment, and management of innovative space instrumentation to image the solar corona and inner heliosphere”. Quite aptly, Howard’s talk was titled “The Evolution of Our Understanding of Coronal Mass Ejections”.
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are the expulsion of plasma and the associated magnetic fields from near the Sun’s surface. They are extremely fast, and a single CME could cause catastrophic damage if it hit the Earth. However, ...