Juha-Pekka Luntama, responsible for development of a new space-weather warning capability within ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme, explains the origins of space weather and why we need to keep an eye on our Sun.
Stefan Kraft, study manager for a future solar observing missions, explains why international cooperation make sense when dealing with something as big as a star.
Our Sun emits magnetised plasma – ‘solar wind’ – and periodically ejects billions of tons of matter threaded with a magnetic field in coronal mass ejections; these influence the space environment and can cause geomagnetic storms, affecting satellites, infrastructure on ground and human health.
In Europe’s economy today, numerous sectors are potentially affected by space weather, ranging from space-based telecommunications, broadcasting, weather services and navigation through to power distribution and terrestrial communications, especially at northern latitudes.
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