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Space Weather

Date: 07-24-03
Host: George Noory
Guests: N/A

Physics professor Ramon Lopez (website(1)) discussed the science of space weather, on Thursday's program. The co-author of Storms from the Sun(2), Lopez said that "it's the sun that drives the space environment, at least for us." A planet such as Jupiter is different because it has larger internal forces.

Activity on the sun, such as sunspots might affect the Earth's climate, Lopez said. For instance, there was a period in the 1600's when sunspots disappeared completely, and Europe experienced a "little ice age." But it has only been since the advent of the telegraph and subsequent electromagnetic communications that space weather has become an important factor to our civilization he pointed out. This is because explosions and magnetic storms on the sun can disrupt the functionality of satellites, which beam numerous signals back to Earth.

Lopez also commented on future developments of moon exploration. Some possibilities he suggested included setting up radio telescopes on the dark side, and mining the moon for raw materials as we move towards colonizing the solar system.

1. http://aurora.physics.utep.edu/rlopez/
2. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0309076420/ctoc

Related Articles

Here Comes the Sun

Tonight's guest, Ramon Lopez will discuss many of the activities that take place on the huge body that is the Sun, which contains 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System. Care to do a little sun surfing? Check out these links:

1. http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/
2. http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/ssl/pad/solar/flares.htm
3. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/sun_mysteries_020716-1.html

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