Space weather is something that has a heavy impact on life here on Earth. Things like solar wind, magnetic fields, and geomagnetic storms all play significant roles in what we experience here on Earth. The sun is constantly throwing charged plasma gas out into space. It creates a solar wind that actually creates those geometric storms. The storms here on Earth are felt through disruption of cell phone service, satellite damage and even blackouts to major power grids.
These are all things that have a heavy impact on life here on Earth. However, scientists are working to figure out the physics behind them. The goal is to ensure that they can be forecasted, and planned for, much like a hurricane or traditional weather phenomenon here on Earth.
There were some major findings in what physicists have been doing to understand these space weather patterns, and have a better understanding about how they function. Magnetic reconnection is an explosive phenomenon that occurs in solar flares near the sun. This is what pushes and propels the solar particles out from the sun, and has impacts as those particles get closer to the magnetic field of Earth. The studies and findings were all found from different teams within the larger study.
Another team noted how magnetic turbulence works within solar winds in a wind tunnel experiment. A third team noted that plasma magnetic waves would ripple through turbulent solar wind – and reiterated satellite measurements. This particular finding does a lot to understand what the behavior of hot plasma looks like in actual practice.
However, with all of the research that went into these experiments, the end goal is very clear. It’s ultimately giving scientists the ability to forecast space weather, just as the weather is forecasted here on Earth. The biggest find was magnetic reconnection, which is the first even which occurs – and then causes the violent outburst causing the intense solar wind. It is what creates the eruptions of plasma from the sun, and can give us a very good insight as to how the sun works in relation to creating solar weather.
A major mystery in the world of space weather has been the reconnection that occurs with these particles, and how they exist after the fact. The magnetic energy is turned into explosive particle energy, and that is something that is at the beginning of every solar weather event.
With all of the other studies that occurred thereafter, this was the one that shed the most light on the processes of the solar system, and how weather happens within it. Again, understanding how this interaction takes place between these solar elements and the magnetic field of Earth is absolutely crucial to being able to understand and eventually protect the Earth from these damaging systems.