And the weather in space today is….more predictable, it seems, thanks to what the US National Science Foundation (NSF) calls “the first large-scale, physics-based space weather predicition model”.
Coronal mass ejection is grey cloud right of center. (Credit: Dusan Odstrcil, George Mason University)
The model will provide forecasters with a one- to four-day advance warning of high-speed streams of solar plasma and coronal mass ejections (CME) headed in Earth’s direction from the Sun. These streams are a hazard to satellites and can disrupt or damage space- and ground-based communications systems, says NSF. With advance warning, operators can take action to protect spacecraft.
Development and validation of the model, and its transition to operational use, was led by NSF’s Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling, working with the US Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration.