Storms from the Sun: The Emerging Science of Space Weather

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Joseph Henry Press, 2002 - Science - 234 pages
Space weather is all around us. And although there are no nightly news reports on the latest front moving through the heavens, we're rapidly developing the tools necessary to measure and observe trends in cosmic meteorology. But why does space weather matter to us? It doesn't affect whether we bring an umbrella to work or require us to monitor early school closings. It's far, far away and of little concern to us...right? March 13, 1989. The Department of Defense tracking system that keeps tabs on 8,000 objects orbiting Earth briefly loses track of 1,300 of them. In New Jersey a surge of extra current in the power lines fries a $10 million transformer. Shocks to a power station in Quebec leave 6 million people without electricity for nine hours. Residents of Florida, Mexico, and the Grand Cayman Islands see glowing curtains of light in the sky. All these bizarre and seemingly random events were caused by a series of solar explosions that launched bolts of electrified gas at the Earth. Trillions of watts of electricity had poured into the atmosphere--double the power-generating capacity of the entire United States. "Storms from the Sun explores the emerging science of space weather and traces its increasing impact on a society that has become dependent on space-based technologies. Authors Carlowicz and Lopez explain what space weather really means to us down here--and what it may mean for future explorations and colonization of distant worlds. By translating the latest findings of NASA and other top scientists into fascinating and accessible descriptions of the latest discoveries, we are privy to some of the most closely held secrets that the solar-terrestrial system has to offer.

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Storms from the sun: the emerging science of space weather

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Science writer and education specialist Carlowicz (NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr.) and physicist Lopez (Univ. of Texas, El Paso) here address "space storms," or the sporadically intense emission of ... Read full review


Here Comes the Sun
The Day the Pagers Died
SunEating Dragons Hairy Stars and Bridges to Heaven
A Sudden Conflagration
Connecting Sun to Earth
Living in the Atmosphere of a Star
The Cosmic WakeUp Call
Fire in the Sky
Seasons of the Sun
The Forecast
Over the Horizon
Selected Reading
Selected Web Sites
Acronyms Abbreviations

A Tough Place to Work
Houston We Could Have a Problem

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