NASA selects two new missions that want to better understand the extreme space weather

NASA launches two new missions to the sun: a $ 280 MILLION project investigates extreme space weather and can help protect the earth from the violent solar flare

  • Missions will evaluate solar winds and Earth's response to them
  • The sun generates a huge outpouring of solar particles known as the solar wind
  • This can create a dynamic radiation system in space called space weather
  • Near the Earth, this can have serious consequences for the safety of astronauts, radio communication, GPS signals and utilities on the ground
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NASA has selected two missions to help scientists understand how the sun creates solar wind and how they control extreme space weather.

One of the selected missions will study how the sun releases charged particles from the upper atmosphere, the corona, into the solar system.

The first, called PUNCH, will study the reaction of the earth and will consist of four suitcase-shaped satellites that follow the solar wind as it leaves the sun.

TRACERS, the latter, will use two spacecraft to study how the charged particles in these solar winds interact with the Earth.

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The main goal of the $ 280 million program is to see how the mysterious phenomena can lead to major consequences for the Earth's magnetic field, astronaut safety, radio communications, GPS signals, and ground utilities.

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NASA has selected two new missions to increase our understanding of the sun and its dynamic effects on space. One of the selected missions will study how the sun drives particles and energy into the solar system and a second will study the reaction of the earth

NASA has selected two new missions to increase our understanding of the sun and its dynamic effects on space. One of the selected missions will study how the sun drives particles and energy into the solar system and a second will study the reaction of the earth

The Polarimeter to unite the Corona and Heliosphere, or PUNCH, will focus directly on the outer atmosphere of the sun, the corona.

The second mission is Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites or TRACERS.

This will observe particles and fields at the Earth's northern magnetic cusp region – which surrounds the Earth's pole, where the magnetic field lines from our planet to the earth crumble.

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The sun generates a huge outpouring of solar particles known as solar winds, which can create a dynamic radiation system in space called space weather.

Solar winds are not a threat to people on Earth, but can potentially pose a lethal threat to astronauts and spacecraft.

Solar storms led to fascination among scientists after the Carrington event in 1859, which saw an enormous burst of the sun's crown of the masses unleashed on the protective magnetosphere of the earth.

Not only did the intense aurora & # 39; s illuminate the sky, but it also caused all telegraph systems in Europe and North America to go down, cause electric shocks to operators and even starting fires.

Some scientists believe that repeating such an event today would disable the power grid indefinitely, but would also disrupt satellites and ground-based technology.

PUNCH, will consist of four suitcase-shaped satellites that will follow solar wind as it leaves the sun. TRACERS will use two spacecraft to study how the charged particles in these solar winds work when interacting with the earth.
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PUNCH, will consist of four suitcase-shaped satellites that will follow solar wind as it leaves the sun. TRACERS will use two spacecraft to study how the charged particles in these solar winds work when interacting with the earth.

PUNCH, will consist of four suitcase-shaped satellites that will follow solar wind as it leaves the sun. TRACERS will use two spacecraft to study how the charged particles in these solar winds work when interacting with the earth.

NASA and ESA worked together earlier this month to create a weather forecast system for solar winds, because it the more we understand what space weather and its interaction with the Earth and moon systems drives, the more we can mitigate its effects, according to NASA.

This includes protecting astronauts and technology that are critical to NASA's Artemis Moon program.

& # 39; We have carefully selected these two missions, not just because of the high-quality science they can do in their own way.

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& # 39; Because they will work well with the other heliophysics spacecraft that are helping NASA's mission to protect astronauts, space technology and life here on Earth & # 39 ;, said Thomas Zurbuchen, Deputy Director of the Directorate Science missions at NASA headquarters in Washington.

& # 39; These missions will do great science, but they are also special because they are delivered in small packages, which means we can launch them together and do more research for the price of a single launch. & # 39;

The planned launch date for both PUNCH and TRACERS is August 2022 at the latest.

WHAT IS THE PUNCH MISSION?

The Polarimeter to unite the Corona and Heliosphere, or PUNCH, will focus directly on the outer atmosphere of the sun, the corona.

It will see how the solar wind generates.

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Composed of four suitcase-sized satellites, PUNCH will display and follow the solar wind as it leaves the sun.

The spacecraft will also follow coronal mass ejections – large solar material bursts that can cause large space weather events near the Earth – to better understand their evolution and to develop new techniques for predicting such eruptions.

These observations will improve the national and international investigation of other NASA missions such as Parker Solar Probe and the upcoming ESA / NASA Solar Orbiter, as a result of the launch in 2020.

PUNCH can observe the structures in the solar atmosphere in real time that encounter these missions by blocking the bright light of the sun and investigating the much weaker atmosphere.

Together, these missions will investigate how the star we live sends radiation into space.

WHAT IS THE TRACERS MISSION?

The second mission is Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites or TRACERS.

TRACERS will observe particles and fields at the Earth's northern magnetic cusp region – the area around the Earth's pole, where the magnetic field lines from our planet to the earth crumble.

Here the field lines guide particles from the boundary between the earth's magnetic field and the interplanetary space down into the atmosphere.

Magnetic reconnection drives energetic events throughout the universe, including coronal mass ejections and solar flares on the sun.

It also allows particles from the solar wind to push into the nearby space, driving the space weather there.

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TRACERS will be the first space mission to explore this process in the cusp with two spacecraft.

It will provide observations of how processes change over both space and time.

The point also allows simultaneous observations of reconnection in the nearby space of the earth.

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