Thursday, February 14, 2008

Real-Time Solar Storm Warning Now Operational, Protecting Astronauts and Satellites

The Comprehensive Suprathermal and Energetic Particle Analyzer (COSTEP) instrument onboard SOHO has provided data about highly energetic particles since 1995, but it's never been in real-time. Now, using a new technique, solar scientists are able to receive particle data with an hour warning of an impending storm of energetic ions.

[. . .]

This is obviously good news for any astronaut in Earth orbit, but generally they are protected from intermediate solar storms as they are within the protective shield of the magnetosphere. This system will be most useful for the future colonists of the Moon and any long-haul manned missions to Mars.

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