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3-D solar eruptions

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5:50pm, August 17, 2004

When they're blasted toward Earth, solar eruptions known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) can disrupt radio communications, satellite links, and power systems. To better gauge the angle at which CMEs emerge from the sun and predict their arrival time at Earth, NASA plans to launch in 2006 a pair of spacecraft called STEREO (Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory). By examining CMEs from two angles, the twin craft will record the three-dimensional structure of these eruptions. But two researchers, using data from a single craft already in orbit, have already accomplished this feat.

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