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NASA Space Science. NASA public domain image colelction.

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Summary

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and university scientists from the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, Alabama, are watching the Sun in an effort to better predict space weather - blasts of particles and magnetic fields from the Sun that impact the magnetosphere, the magnetic bubble around the Earth. Filled by charged particles trapped in the Earth's magnetic field, the spherical comet-shaped magnetosphere extends out 40,000 miles from Earth's surface in the sunward direction and more in other directions. This image illustrates the Sun-Earth cornection. When massive solar explosions, known as coronal mass ejections, blast through the Sun's outer atmosphere and plow toward Earth at speeds of thousands of miles per second, the resulting effects can be harmful to communication satellites and astronauts outside the Earth's magnetosphere. Like severe weather on Earth, severe space weather can be costly. On the ground, magnetic storms wrought by these solar particles can knock out electric power. By using the Solar Vector Magnetograph, a solar observation facility at MSFC, scientists are learning what signs to look for as indicators of potential severe space weather.

date_range

Date

01/06/2002
place

Location

Marshall Spaceflight Center, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, United States, 3580834.63076, -86.66505
Google Map of 34.6307645, -86.665052
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Source

NASA
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Copyright info

Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

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