Preventing Space Weather Disasters
Storms erupting from the Sun have been known to knock satellites and power grids offline. As society grows more dependent on tech, the effects from such "space weather" events will become more impactful. Our knowledge of what drives space weather is about 60 years behind our knowledge of what drives weather on Earth. Better protection against solar tantrums requires a better understanding of the sun. In the fall of 2019, NSF's new Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii will take an extreme close-up of the sun's surface. This solar close-up will revolutionize our understanding of the Sun and what drives catastrophic space weather, guiding better future models for predicting solar storms and enhancing society's ability to defend against them.
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- Space weather events are a serious concern for technology on Earth.
- Improved solar imaging and monitoring will help us understand how to mitigate these potential disasters.
- Ground-based space exploration is necessary for the safety of our planet.
Jennifer Plozai, Lead External Affair Media & Public Affairs, National Science Foundation