Some conditions in space have the potential to seriously
affect us on Earth.
We call these conditions "space weather".
The causes can include radiation storms and ejections from the Sun
as well disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field caused by the Sun.
Besides triggering beautiful auroras, these solar storms can
damage satellites, disrupt power grids and electrical systems,
interfere with cell phones and other communications,
and disturb animal movements.
They can even threaten astronauts and high-flying airplanes
with their radiation!
Severe Space Weather - Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts - (2008)
A 132-page study by the National Academy of Sciences about the potential global impact of a super large solar flare, such as the "Carrington flare" of 1859
(which was also the first solar flare ever observed, and named after Richard Carrington, one of the observers). This event caused a severe geomagnetic storm, which disrupted telegraph communications
and had it occurred today, its impact on electrical systems, telecommunications and commerce would be catastrophic.
Want to Know More?
NASA News Article:
A New Kind of Solar Storm
Research Explorer produced by the Exploratorium.
Explains the concepts and provides links to live data. Also interviews
with scientists who study space weather.
Center is a site designed especially for kids.
You can learn more about space weather, and even play games like
Magneto Mini Golf!
The term space weather refers to violent transfers of matter and energy from the Sun
to the Earth. This web site will tell you all about this important, and costly,
problem and what we can do about it.
gives daily science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.
Find out about recent solar flares, spots on the Sun,
current solar wind speed
potential auroras, and spots currently on the back side of the Sun
which soon will be turning into view and possibly causing harm!
Space Weather Predictions
provides data on current geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms.
radio blackouts, active regions, and the solar wind.
|| For pigeon racers and fanciers
| Other Resources:
Aurora photo by David Fritts, Poker Flat Research Center, Alaska;
SOHO spacecraft, courtesy NASA/ESA
Solar flare: EIT instrument aboard the SOHO spacecraft
Earth & satellite from
Dr. Sten Odenwald's Space Weather site
Space weather guy from spaceweather.com;
D-region absorption prediction image: The National Weather Service Space