The Moreton wave, or Moreton-Ramsey wave, is named after American astronomer Gail Moreton, an observer at the Lockheed Solar Observatory in Burbank, and Harry E Ramsey, an observer who spotted them in 1959 at The Sacramento Peak Observatory. Moreton waves are generated by solar flares and are sometimes described as a kind of “solar tsunami”.
The existence of Moreton waves was confirmed by the two Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft in 2006. They observed a 100,000km (62,137 miles)-high wave of hot plasma and magnetism, moving at 250km/s (155 miles/s) in conjunction with a big coronal mass ejection in February 2009. Moreton measured the waves propagating at a speed of 500–1500km/s (310–930 miles/s).