A very severe coronal mass ejection in the lines of the Carrington event could potentially disrupt power grids and communications, but would it affect the earth evenly or would the part of the earth facing away at the time be less affected?

This question What are the main differences between solar flares and coronal mass ejections? seems to explain a coronal mass ejection but it does not answer the question about difference

  • $\begingroup$ A nice question! $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Oct 29, 2018 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


Would a large coronal mass ejection affect the earth evenley

No, the effects on Earth from a large coronal mass ejection (CME) would disproportionately affect higher geographic latitudes in the form of ground induced currents. The side facing the Sun, called the dayside, would also suffer more spacecraft anomalies from solar energetic particles (SEPs). However, the nightside is not safe either. A strong geomagnetic storm induced by a strong CME can cause large influxes of relatively low energy electrons from the geomagnetic tail, which can charge up spacecraft enough to cause arcing and ablation. The radiation belts are also enhanced during such storms, which can cause single event upsets in spacecraft electronics and increase the material fatigue of spacecraft components. These energetic particles also increase the rate of damage to solar panels, thus reducing a spacecraft's life time.


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