Due to magnetic fluctuations in the Sun's corona, the Sun produces Coronal Mass ejections (CMEs).

Where does the matter from these CMEs go if they don't hit any celestial object? Are they visible from Earth?

  • $\begingroup$ I suspect you mean "coronal mass ejections". Flares are bright Ultraviolet and X-ray emissions and like other forms of light, the light just goes out into space. Coronal mass ejections can be triggered by flares. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Jan 14, 2023 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesK Or perhaps the OP is asking about the solar wind. It is rather unclear what's being asked given the unclear and grammatical incorrect way the question was written. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2023 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry for mistakes, i mean CME(coronal mass ejections) $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2023 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ They hit Moon and other celestial objects: physics.stackexchange.com/a/715486/85785 $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2023 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ Space is Really, Really, Really Big, and it's Really, Really, Really Empty. Most just hurdle out into the unimaginably huge and empty void. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Jan 15, 2023 at 6:40

1 Answer 1


Coronal Mass ejections are not easy to detect from Earth (until they hit the ionosphere and cause a geomagnetic storm) The first was discovered by a space-based solar observatory in 1971. They are, however easily visible to spacecraft.

Flares, on the other hand, are the explosions of magnetic energy in the Sun's atmosphere. They emit X-rays, ultraviolet, and even ordinary light in all directions, and are visible from Earth, as a "flash of light". The atmosphere blocks/protects us from the X-rays, so they are easier to detect from space too. And large flares often cause mass ejections, but the two phenomena are distinct.

The matter in a CME interacts with the solar wind (it can be moving either faster or slower than the wind, but will change speed to match the wind), and eventually becomes part of the solar wind. It travels away from the sun, eventually slowing down at the heliopause. Ultimately the matter becomes part of the interstellar medium.

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    $\begingroup$ Coronal mass Ejections are easily detectable by spacecraft as they are produced. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Jan 14, 2023 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ We can observe CMEs with SOHO and SDO quite easily. We can infer them from Type II radio bursts observed by Wind, STEREO, Parker Solar Probe, and Solar Orbiter. $\endgroup$ Jan 17 at 13:52

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