Related topics: nasa · earth · magnetic field · spacecraft · solar wind

In EU, 1 in 8 deaths linked to pollution: report

In the EU, 13 percent of deaths are linked to pollution, said a new report published on Tuesday by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which stressed the current pandemic put environmental health factors in the spotlight.

What's behind China's record floods?

China has touted its massive dam network as a remedy for its devastating annual floods, but record deluges have once again killed hundreds of people and submerged thousands of homes this year.

A method to study extreme space weather events

Scientists at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), together with international colleagues, have developed a method to study fast coronal mass ejections, powerful bursts of magnetized matter from the outer ...

Storm hunter turns two

The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor or ASIM, mounted outside the European laboratory of the International Space Station, enters its second year of science operations.

New 'sun clock' quantifies extreme space weather switch on/off

Extreme space weather events can significantly impact systems such as satellites, communications systems, power distribution and aviation. They are driven by solar activity which is known to have an irregular but roughly ...

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Space weather

Space weather is the concept of changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space. It is distinct from the concept of weather within a planetary atmosphere, and deals with phenomena involving ambient plasma, magnetic fields, radiation and other matter in space. "Space weather" often implicitly means the conditions in near-Earth space within the magnetosphere, but it is also studied in interplanetary (and occasionally interstellar space).

Within our own solar system, space weather is greatly influenced by the speed and density of the solar wind and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) carried by the solar wind plasma. A variety of physical phenomena are associated with space weather, including geomagnetic storms and substorms, energization of the Van Allen radiation belts, ionospheric disturbances and scintillation, aurora and geomagnetically induced currents at Earth's surface. Coronal Mass Ejections and their associated shock waves are also important drivers of space weather as they can compress the magnetosphere and trigger geomagnetic storms. Solar Energetic Particles, accelerated by coronal mass ejections or solar flares, are also an important driver of space weather as they can damage electronics onboard spacecraft through induced electric currents,[citation needed] and threaten the life of astronauts.

Space weather exerts a profound influence in several areas related to space exploration and development. Changing geomagnetic conditions can induce changes in atmospheric density causing the rapid degradation of spacecraft altitude in Low Earth orbit. Geomagnetic storms due to increased solar activity can potentially blind sensors aboard spacecraft, or interfere with on-board electronics. An understanding of space environmental conditions is also important in designing shielding and life support systems for manned spacecraft. There is also some concern that geomagnetic storms may also expose conventional aircraft flying at high latitudes to increased amounts of radiation.

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