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Transcript of Space Weather
The Aurora Borealis
A natural light display near the North Pole caused by the collision of charged particles with the atoms in the atmosphere
A red aurora occurs at the highest altitude, a green aurora takes place in a lower altitude, and a blue aurora is at even lower altitudes
What are sunspots?
A region on the Sun’s surface that is cooler than its surrounding areas
Indicates regions where the magnetic field is extremely strong
Sunspots are temporary and the quantity of sunspots follows a 11 year cycle
Theories on the origin of the Sun
1. The Sun and our solar system was ejected from its birth cluster.
2. The Sun and our solar system drifted away from its siblings about 4.5 billion years ago.
3. 5 billion years ago the Sun formed from a dark cloud of dust and vapor. The dark cloud of dust exploded, creating a dense central core and flatter outer parts. Remaining dust and vapor became other planets. The cloud then became a proto-star. It stayed in this state until it radiated the energy and pressure on the core away. This made the core collapse and nuclear reactions were ignited.
Current condition and fate of the Sun
What is space weather?
natural processes in space that can affect the near-earth environment, satellites, and space travel, such as magnetospheric disturbances and solar coronal events.
Medium sized star classified as a yellow dwarf
The Sun is about 5,500 degrees Celsius and its core is about 15 million degrees
The Sun is made up of mostly hydrogen (72%) and helium (26%)
A solar flare is a large release of energy from the surface of the sun
Spacecraft traveling beyond the protection of the earth’s magnetosphere are at risk of being affected when a solar flare occurs
The waves of proton radiation emitted during solar flares can charge spacecraft and damage their equipment
Determining the temperature of a star
The colour of a star can determine its temperature and the elements that it is made of
When you pass starlight through a prism, the light spreads into the colours of the star's spectrum
Cold stars appear red, warmer stars appear to be blue or white
What is solar wind?
A stream of charged particles released from the upper atmosphere of the sun
They flow outwards filling a region known as the heliosphere
In our solar system, solar wind travels at about 400km/s
The Sun is increasing in luminosity and becoming larger while the rotation rate is slowing
In about 1.5 billion years, it will be twice as bright and have a 40% greater radius
Our Sun will collapse when energy flow from the core stops. Nuclear reactions will occur creating a red giant star
The Sun will remain as a red giant for about 250 million years while its core contracts and heats up
While the core temperature increases, helium will fuse into carbon and release huge amounts of energy
The collapse of the Sun
The Sun's Effects on Earth
The defense system the Earth has against radiation is our atmosphere
Visible light that hits the Earth’s surface allows for the photosynthesis and provides organisms on earth a natural source of vitamin D
The ultraviolet radiation that goes through Earth’s atmosphere can damage our skin
The defense mechanism the Earth and its atmosphere have against solar wind is its magnetic field
The magnetic field protects the Earth from solar wind and cosmic rays
The different conditions in the magnetosphere are largely driven by solar activity
Geomagnetic storms can cause a lot of disruption to the magnetic field and can effect humans in many ways