Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Solar weather reports key to safe space travel
by Brooks Hays
Newcastle, England (UPI) Jul 30, 2015

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Researchers in England are looking ahead to a world where solar and space weather forecasting is nearly as important as weather patterns and predictions on Earth's surface.

Better predicting how the sun's electromagnetic behavior influences space weather will become more important, scientists say, as activities like space tourism, asteroid mining and manned space travel become more common.

In the United States, scientists at the Space Weather Prediction Center, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, do their best to forecast solar winds and storms. NASA and the International Space Station rely heavily on these reports to keep their instruments and astronauts safe from dangerous radiation.

But scientists at Northumbria University suggest more predictive, less reactive solar forecasting is necessary for the future of safe space travel. Researchers there recently used a powerful telescope to observe the outer layer of the sun's surface to better understand how solar winds there influence space weather.

The team, led by Northumbria research fellow Richard Morton, was able to observe and describe the behavior of a type of magnetic wave known as Alfven waves. As detailed in a new study published in Nature, researchers found the waves to run in both directions along the sun's magnetic field. When they collide, their energy can be transferred to accelerating solar winds.

Scientists had previously predicted these waves, but never before observed them directly.

"The solar wind is unlike anything experienced on Earth," Morton said in a press release. "It is an extremely fast moving stream of million-degree gas that carries away up to a billion kilograms of the Sun's atmosphere per second."

"Exactly what allows the winds to reach such speeds and provides the force to remove such large amount of solar material has puzzled scientists for a while now," Morton added. "We hope that our observations will help with the prediction and monitoring of the Sun's weather. Then, maybe one day, people will tune in to the morning's space weather report to see whether they should take that trip to Mars."

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ISU Educates Future Space Leaders
Cleveland, OH (SPX) Jul 29, 2015
Over 100 people, considered future leaders in the space industry, visited NASA's Glenn Research Center in July to learn more about the center's research and technology. The engineers, scientists and other professionals are part of International Space University's (ISU) 2015 Space Studies Program based at Ohio University this summer. The nine-week program, held yearly in locations throughou ... read more

NASA Could Return Humans to the Moon by 2021

Smithsonian embraces crowdfunding to preserve lunar spacesuit

NASA Sets Sights on Robot-Built Moon Colony

Technique may reveal the age of moon rocks during spaceflight

NASA Mars Orbiter Preparing for Mars Lander's 2016 Arrival

New Website Gathering Public Input on NASA Mars Images

Antarctic Offers Insights Into Life on Mars

Earth and Mars Could Share A Life History

Japanese firm to mature whisky in space

Start-ups in spotlight at new Hong Kong tech meet

Third spaceflight for astronaut Paolo Nespoli

Solar weather reports key to safe space travel

Chinese earth station is for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes

Cooperation in satellite technology put Belgium, China to forefront

China set to bolster space, polar security

China's super "eye" to speed up space rendezvous

Space Kombucha in the search for life and its origin

Political Tensions Have No Impact on Space Cooperation- Roscosmos

RED epic dragon camera captures riveting images on space station

Launch, docking returns ISS crew to full strength

Payload fit-check for next Ariane 5 mission

SMC goes "2-for-2" on weather delayed launch

China tests new carrier rocket

Arianespace inaugurates new fueling facility for Soyuz upper stage

Microlensing used to find distant Uranus-sized planet

NASA's Spitzer Confirms Closest Rocky Exoplanet

Finding Another Earth

Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth

Cages offer new direction in sustainable catalyst design

Controlling phase changes in solids

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point

World's most powerful laser fired in Japan

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.