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Understanding anthropogenic effects on space weather

Effects of human behaviour are not limited to Earth's climate or atmosphere; they are also seen in the natural space weather surrounding our planet. "Space weather" in this context includes conditions in the space surrounding Earth, including the magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere.
A recent survey by a team of scientists including Phil Erickson, assistant director of MIT Haystack Observatory, has resulted in an article in the journal Space Science Reviews. The study provides a comprehensive review of anthropogenic, or human-caused, space weather impacts, including some recent findings using NASA's Van Allen Probes twin spacecraft.

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Solar Storms Can Drain Electrical Charge Above Earth

New research on solar storms finds that they not only can cause regions of excessive electrical charge in the upper atmosphere above Earth's poles, they also can do the exact opposite: cause regions that are nearly depleted of electrically charged particles. The finding adds to our knowledge of how solar storms affect Earth and could possibly lead to improved radio communication and navigation systems for the Arctic.
A team of researchers from Denmark, the United States and Canada made the discovery while studying a solar storm that reached Earth on Feb. 19, 2014.

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Beautiful science with astronaut aurora

Some of the most wonderful pictures taken by astronauts from space are of aurora dancing over our planet. Now the photos are more than just pretty pictures thanks to an ESA project that makes them scientifically usable.
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Title: Anthropogenic Space Weather
Author: T. I. Gombosi, D. N. Baker, A. Balogh, P. J. Erickson, J. D. Huba, L. J. Lanzerotti

Anthropogenic effects on the space environment started in the late 19th century and reached their peak in the 1960s when high-altitude nuclear explosions were carried out by the USA and the Soviet Union. These explosions created artificial radiation belts near Earth that resulted in major damages to several satellites. Another, unexpected impact of the high-altitude nuclear tests was the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can have devastating effects over a large geographic area (as large as the continental United States). Other anthropogenic impacts on the space environment include chemical release experiments, high-frequency wave heating of the ionosphere and the interaction of VLF waves with the radiation belts. This paper reviews the fundamental physical process behind these phenomena and discusses the observations of their impacts.

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Space Weather
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New solar cloud identified after space weather study

A new form of solar cloud has been identified by research into "space weather" led by Dundee University.
Dr Miho Janvier worked alongside colleagues in Paris and Buenos Aires to study a new kind of magnetic cloud emanating from the Sun.
The cloud is a smaller, distinct version of those caused by solar flares which produce aurora borealis on Earth.

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UK 'can cope with solar superstorm'

If a solar superstorm struck the Earth, the effects on the UK would be "challenging but not cataclysmic", says a major report.
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Solar Superstorm
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Solar superstorm may knock out US power grid

A monster blast of geomagnetic particles from the sun could destroy 300 or more of the 2,100 high-voltage transformers that are the backbone of the US electric grid, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Even a few hundred destroyed transformers could disable the entire interconnected system.

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See also Solar storm of 1859



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KHO Auroral forecast service

http://kho.unis.no/Forecast.htm



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Fears of disruption as big solar storm set to hit Earth

A strong solar storm is expected to hit Earth shortly, and experts warn it could disrupt power grids, satellite navigations systems and plane routes.
The storm - the largest in five years - will unleash a torrent of charged particles between 06:00 GMT and 10:00 GMT, US weather specialists say.
They say it was triggered by a pair of massive solar flares earlier this week.

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Delta, others reroute flights after solar eruption

Delta Air Lines has rerouted at least six flights that were to fly near the North Pole. The changes are to avoid this week's effects of "an immense solar blast" from the Sun
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