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21 June 2019

Northern lights’ social networking reveals true scale of magnetic storms

Magnetic disturbances caused by phenomena like the northern lights can be tracked by a ‘social network’ of ground-based instruments, according to a new study from the University of Warwick.

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17 August 2018

New technology could improve radiation risk warnings for future deep-space astronauts

New technology that detects radiation from the Sun in real time and immediately predicts subsequent health risks could protect astronauts on future deep-space missions, according to a new study. Astronauts face dangers during solar energetic particle, or SEP, events, which occur when an eruption in the Sun’s atmosphere hurls high-energy protons out into space. These protons can penetrate the walls of a spacecraft and enter the human body. This radiation can cause immediate effects such as nausea, performance degradation and other acute radiation syndromes, while long-term effects can include cancer, degenerative tissue damage, heart disease and damage to the central nervous system.

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22 December 2015

Ancient solar storms may explain how Mars morphed into a cold, barren desert

In March of this year, the sun hurled a giant magnetic solar storm into Mars. The solar wind, full of charged particles, slammed into the red planet’s atmosphere, bouncing or “sputtering” the oxygen into deep space.

Researchers now think the same process could have evaporated Mar’s water several billion years ago, according to a new study presented at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting and recently published in AGU’s publication Geophysical Research Letters.

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