For the first time ever, NASA’s Van Allen Probes caught the before and after effects of a solar shockwave as it was happening. The event, which occurred on October 8, 2013, was triggered by an explosion that erupted on the sun’s surface, sending a shockwave of solar wind careening through space. After passing the moon, the shockwave hurtled toward Earth before running head-on into the magnetic field surrounding our planet. This impact then set off a magnetized sound pulse, which reverberated around Earth.
Though the shockwave occurred two years ago, the twin spacecraft’s data was only recently analyzed by MIT’s Haystack Observatory and the University Of Colorado, among others.