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om@umr.edu
2005-Aug-03, 12:08 PM
A team of researchers from the UK and France used SOHO, ACE and the four Cluster spacecraft to follow a huge eruption on the Sun, tracing its progress from birth to when it reached the Earth.

The study focused on the shape of the magnetic field and how it might change during its journey from the Sun to Earth.

According to Dr Louise Harra, of UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, "Using complementary satellites we have been able to see that the magnetic field changes very little on its journey.”

When the magnetic fields of CME’s collide directly with Earth’s magnetic field they can excite geomagnetic storms. In extreme cases they cause electrical power outages and damage to communications networks and satellites.

The ESA news story is here: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM5TK808BE_index_0.html

UT carried a related news story yesterday from the University of Warwick
http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/sp...on_.html?282005 (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/space__weather__hole_blocks_manned_mars_mission_.h tml?282005)

What do you think of this new interest in the Sun's control over space weather?

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

antoniseb
2005-Aug-03, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Aug 3 2005, 12:08 PM
What do you think of this new interest in the Sun's control over space weather?
I didn't have the impression that interest in the Sun and space weather was new.

aeolus
2005-Aug-03, 03:21 PM
I think we're only going to get more interested in it. As we depend more and more on technology that could be adversely affected by it, it becomes more important to the layman to be informed about such things. For instance, I'm sure the farmer that got his new, wave-of-the-future petrol-fueled tractor a century ago, he wouldn't care much about CMEs. Now I bet there is alot of sensitive electronics in today's new tractors, from disgnostic chips in the engines to maybe GPS and sensors to aid in optimum planting/harvesting, etc. These days the farmer might not only care about how much sun he gets, but what kind of stuff is coming with it.

Fraser
2005-Aug-03, 03:53 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers with the European Space Agency have watched the entire lifecycle of a solar storm using the SOHO and Cluster spacecraft. SOHO detected a large solar flare on the Sun, and then the resulting coronal mass ejection passed the Earth and the 4 Cluster spacecraft. Scientists have speculated that these ejections change shape as they travel from the Sun to the Earth, but the Cluster spacecraft found just the opposite, that its magnetic field stayed the same for the journey.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/scientists_weather_space_storm_soho.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Guest
2005-Aug-03, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by aeolus@Aug 3 2005, 03:21 PM
I think we're only going to get more interested in it. As we depend more and more on technology that could be adversely affected by it, it becomes more important to the layman to be informed about such things. For instance, I'm sure the farmer that got his new, wave-of-the-future petrol-fueled tractor a century ago, he wouldn't care much about CMEs. Now I bet there is alot of sensitive electronics in today's new tractors, from disgnostic chips in the engines to maybe GPS and sensors to aid in optimum planting/harvesting, etc. These days the farmer might not only care about how much sun he gets, but what kind of stuff is coming with it.
I agree, aeolus.

It is great that the celestial object that controls our lives may finally get the scrunity it deserves.

This shows that space science is not alien to the lives of ordinary people.

Imagine these headlines:

"Farmers Demand More Funding So NASA Can Decipher the Sun, Predict Weather!"

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om