Solutions devised by scientists and engineers include, but are not limited to, spacecraft shielding, special "hardening" of electronic systems, various collision detection systems. Evaluation of effects during spacecraft design includes application of various models of the environment, including radiation belt models, spacecraft-plasma interaction models and atmospheric models to predict drag effects encountered in lower orbits and during reentery.
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The field often overlaps with the disciplines of astrophysics , atmospheric science , space physics , and geophysics , albeit usually with an emphasis on application. Space weather effects on Earth can include ionospheric storms, temporary decreases in ozone densities, disruption to radio communication, to GPS signals and submarine positioning. Some scientists also theorize links between sunspot activity and ice ages. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Space Physics Environment Data Analysis System (SPEDAS)
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Views Read Edit View history. Northern lights are perhaps the best known consequence of space weather, but space weather may also significantly affect the reliability and operation of many technological systems in space and on ground, such as telecommunication, power transmission and navigation systems.
During strong radiation storms transpolar flights are occasionally rerouted and increased radiation levels may also damage satellites and endanger the health of astronauts. In addition, the Earth's atmosphere expands during space weather disturbances and the satellites on low-Earth orbits experience increased drag.
For example, the orbit of the international space station ISS is regularly adjusted as it decays during space weather storms. The ultimate source of space weather is the Sun. Solar activity varies cyclically with a period of about 11 years. In the activity minimum the Sun is calm and space weather disturbances are weak and infrequent, while during the maximum the Sun and the near-Earth space are stormy. At this time solar magnetic field is very complex and in continuous change. Strong eruptions occur daily. The most important solar eruptions are coronal mass ejections CMEs and flares.
CMEs are huge ejections of magnetized plasma in which billions of tons of solar material is hurled into interplanetary space. Fastest CMEs are expelled with speeds up to several thousands of kilometers per second and they reach the orbit of the Earth in less than two days.
A Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics)
CMEs expand significantly in the heliosphere and when they arrive to the distance of the Earth their dimensions are on average nearly one-third of the Sun-Earth distance. It takes about one day for a CME to pass the Earth. The strong and prolonged southward magnetic field within the CME couples effectively with the geomagnetic field and CMEs cause the majority of strong space storms. Flares are abrupt and powerful energy releases at the Sun that are observed in nearly all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Flares accelerate protons to extremely high energies. These protons arrive to the Earth nearly as fast as the light, in about 30 minutes and they cause radiations storms. However, flares do not cause disturbances to the interplanetary plasma and magnetic field. Our space research group at the Department of Physics studies the solar-terrestrial physics and space weather in collaboration with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, University of Turku and Aalto University within the Kumpula Space Centre.
The emphasis of our research is on understanding the formation of CMEs and their evolution in the heliosphere and consequences in the near-Earth space. We aim at a profound understanding of the physics behind space weather phenomena and at using this knowledge to develop services for the society.
The Space Physics Environment Data Analysis System (SPEDAS).
The philosophy of the group is to pursue a diversity of research methodologies including data analysis and interpretation, theoretical modeling and numerical simulation. An emphasis is on actively participating in the design and implementation of instrumentation for scientific space missions. The space research group is involved in the development and scientific planning of several space-borne instruments. The XSM instruments onboard Smart-1 and Chandrayaan-1, implemented by our high energy astrophysics group, conducted X-ray spectroscopy of the solar corona.
A similar instrument is currently operating on-board NASA's Messenger, and is also under study for future application as a standard X-ray Flux Monitor for ESA missions as well as commercial satellites. It will measure solar X-rays, electrons and protons.