Speaking at the 52nd International Air and Space Show in Paris, ESA's Juha-Pekka Luntama explains what space weather is and why it's a potential hazard.
Our Sun emits magnetised plasma – ‘solar wind’ – and periodically ejects billions of tons of matter threaded with a magnetic field in colossal 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.
Juha-Pekka is responsible for development of a new space-weather warning capability within ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme.
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