Pluto: The ‘Other’ Red Planet

Pluto: The ‘Other’ Red Planet

What color is Pluto? The answer, revealed in the first maps made from New Horizons data, turns out to be shades of reddish brown. Although this is reminiscent of Mars, the cause is almost certainly very different. On Mars the coloring agent is iron oxide, commonly known as rust. On the dwarf planet Pluto, the reddish color is likely caused by hydrocarbon molecules that are formed when cosmic rays and solar ultraviolet light interact with methane in Pluto’s atmosphere and on its surface.

Scientist Warns of Possible Space Weather Disasters

Scientist Warns of Possible Space Weather Disasters

University of Colorado Space Physics Professor Daniel Baker this week gave a presentation at the 46th Annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The topic of the presentation was a warning to societies of the real dangers that intense space weather could cause. Using the example of a large solar ejection that missed Earth in 2012, Baker warned that a storm of that size that hits our planet could knock out satellites and power grids while putting astronauts in the International Space Station at risk.

http://www.webpronews.com/scientist-warns-of-possible-space-weather-disaster-2013-12

Overview of Space Weather Research at Mason [Video]

Starts at minute 27

[youtube]http://youtu.be/fssp1yQrQ3A?t=26m46s[/youtube]

International Reference Ionosphere- Wikipedia

International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) is a common permanent scientific project of the Committee on Space Research and theInternational Union of Radio Science started 1968/69. It is the international standard for the terrestrial ionosphere since 1999.

Space Weather Research

Space weather research addresses understanding of the physics of the connected Sun-Earth system. It specifies and predicts the physical conditions in the space that adversely affect the safety of manned space missions and technological systems such as satellites, electronic power grids, communication and navigation systems

Solar system caught in an interstellar tempest

Article in New Scientist Sept. 6, 2013

The solar system is travelling through much stormier skies than we thought, and might even be about to pop out of the huge gas cloud we have been gliding through for at least 45,000 years. That’s the implication of a multi-decade survey of the interstellar wind buffeting the solar system, which has revealed an unexpected change in the wind’s direction…. Journal reference: Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1239925

Quotes by Robert Meier in New Scientist article

“It’s possible we’re seeing a structure that is not necessarily an edge,” saysRobert Meier, now at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who helped make the original STP 72-1 measurements. “A change of direction of flow in a stream could mean you’re near the bank, or that there’s a rock in the middle of the stream or something like that. It’s always harder to figure out what’s going on when you’re in the middle.”

Meier adds that there might be an issue in comparing different types of data. None of the more recent spacecraft have looked at the scattered UV light created as atoms from the cloud interact with solar particles. Instead most made direct measurements of the helium atoms. It would …

NASA says Sun will flip its magnetic field soon

The sun is gearing up for a major solar flip, NASA says.

In an event that occurs once every 11 years, the magnetic field of the sun will change its polarity in a matter of months, according new observations by NASA-supported observatories

About Space Weather Lab Research

The Space Weather Lab faculty have undertaken a number of research projects including:

 

 

FERC Orders Development of Reliability Standards for Geomagnetic Disturbances

FERC Orders Development of Reliability Standards for Geomagnetic Disturbances

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued a final rule requiring development of reliability standards that address the impact of geomagnetic disturbances (GMD) to ensure continued reliable operation of the nation’s Bulk-Power System.

Priority Mismatch Between Space Science and Operations

Priority Mismatch Between Space Science and Operations

In this Space Weather Journal article, O’Brien, Mazur, and Fennell discuss the mismatch between the priority for space scientists with applications for operations and what operators are interested in.

“The space science community has many motivations for setting its priorities. Space scientists and the organizations that fund their research often state a desire to provide relevant research results to benefit the broader society. Satellite operators are routinely cited as customers for the results of space science research, especially research that falls into the category of space weather. However, a significant mismatch has developed between the priorities of well-meaning space scientists and their intended audience of satellite operators. The scientific community prioritizes forecasting higher than does the satellite operator, and the scientific community places a lower priority on some phenomena and particle populations that are of vital interest to satellite operations.”

Full article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/swe.20028/full

  • Dynamical systems

    The solar-wind-driven magnetosphere-ionosphere exhibits a variety of dynamical states including low-level steady plasma convection, episodic releases of …

  • Pluto: The ‘Other’ Red Planet

    What color is Pluto? The answer, revealed in the first maps made from New Horizons data, turns out to be …

  • Scientist Warns of Possible Space Weather Disasters

    University of Colorado Space Physics Professor Daniel Baker this week gave a presentation at the 46th Annual Fall Meeting of …

  • International Reference Ionosphere- Wikipedia

    International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) is a common permanent scientific project of the Committee on Space Research and theInternational Union of Radio Science started 1968/69. It is the international standard for the terrestrial ionosphere since 1999.

  • NASA says Sun will flip its magnetic field soon

    The sun is gearing up for a major solar flip, NASA says.

    In an event that occurs once every 11 years, the magnetic field of the sun will change its polarity in a matter of months, according new observations by NASA-supported observatories

  • FERC Orders Development of Reliability Standards for Geomagnetic Disturbances

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today issued a final rule requiring development of reliability standards that address the impact of geomagnetic disturbances (GMD) to ensure continued reliable operation of the nation’s Bulk-Power System.

  • Priority Mismatch Between Space Science and Operations

    In this Space Weather Journal article, O’Brien, Mazur, and Fennell discuss the mismatch between the priority for space scientists with …

  • Met Office adds space weather to its forecasting

    John Burn-Murdoch
    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 23 July 2013

    Following the recognition of ‘space weather’ as a major risk to UK national security, the …

  • Space Weather Risks Space Weather, NASA

    From the Washington Post… July 10, 2013

    Today, electric utilities and the insurance industry are grappling with a scary possibility. A solar storm on the scale of that in 1859 would wreak havoc on power grids, pipelines and satellites. In the worst case, it could leave 20 million to 40 million people in the Northeast without power — possibly for years….

  • Best Night-Sky Pictures of 2012 Named

    National Geographic Best Night-Sky Pictures

    1st Place, “Beauty of the Night Sky” Category

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