Space Weather: From Solar Storms to the Technical Challenges of the Space Age
Space weather refers to conditions in the Sun, solar wind, and the near-Earth space which, in the same way as the atmospheric weather, can extend from dangerously stormy to extremely beautiful. The origins of space weather lie in the storms of the solar atmosphere, the effects of which expand to the entire solar system with the solar wind. The space weather disturbances accelerate electrically charged particles to very high energies and enhance electric currents in the near-Earth space. The increased corpuscular radiation is hazardous to technological devices and humans in space. The electromagnetic perturbations reach all the way to the surface of the Earth, causing problems in long conductors, e.g., electric transmission lines. The storm-driven changes in the ionization of the upper atmosphere affect propagation of radio waves and accuracy of satellite positioning systems. Space weather provides numerous challenges to basic research, which need to be beaten in order to avoid space weather hazards, or at least to limit them to a harmless level.
KeywordsSolar Wind Coronal Mass Ejection Magnetic Storm Space Weather Solar Ultraviolet Radiation
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