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EXTENDED SUMMARY Genesis of a major space storm. On October 28, 2003, a large sunspot group in the Sunâs southern hemisphere (upper left) erupted, producing an intense x-ray flare (upper right) and a large, fast âhaloâ coronal mass ejection (CME). Within less than an hour of CME lift-off/flare eruption, solar energetic particles (SEPs), accelerated by the shock wave preceding the CME, began arriving at Earth, causing a polar cap absorption event and initiating ozone- destroying chemistry in the middle atmosphere over the poles. The SEP event was still in progress the following day, when the CME slammed into Earthâs magnetic field, triggering a powerful geomagnetic storm. The geomagnetic field was recovering when, late on October 30, a second CME, launched from the same active region as the first, arrived, unleashing another intense magnetic storm. All images were obtained with instruments on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Clockwise from the upper left: Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) white light image of the photosphere; Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) image of coronal Fe XII emissions; Large Angle and Spectrographic Corona (LASCO) C3 coronagraph image, showing âsnowâ caused by solar energetic particle bombardment; and a LASCO C2 near-Sun image of the halo CME. (Images courtesy of NASA/ESA.)