NASA’s Parker Solar Probe makes 1st-of-its-kind observation within a coronal mass ejection

Every so often, the sun’s simmering magnetic field burps colossal clouds of plasma out into the space beyond. These are called coronal mass ejections (CMEs). If one CME strikes Earth, for example, the result can be spectacular auroras — and, just-as-spectacular disruptions of electrical grids and satellites.

Now, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has gotten a first-ever peek inside a CME as it erupted from the sun. And what lies inside appears to be a treasure trove for solar physicists. The probe’s visible-light-detecting, Wide-field Imager for Parker Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument caught clear, turbulent eddies within the CME.

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