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  • richardmitnick 1:20 pm on November 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Catching the dynamic Coronal Web", , , , , Hot coronal plasma over one million degrees needs to escape the Sun to form the slow solar wind., Researchers discover an important clue as to what mechanism drives the solar wind., Solar research, , The so-called fast solar wind which reaches speeds of more than 500 kilometers per second originates from interiors of coronal holes., The stream of charged particles that the Sun hurls into space travels all the way to the edge of our Solar System creating the heliosphere.   

    From The MPG Institute for Solar System Research [MPG Institut für Sonnensystemforschung](DE): “Catching the dynamic Coronal Web” 

    From The MPG Institute for Solar System Research [MPG Institut für Sonnensystemforschung](DE)

    11.24.22
    Contacts:
    Dr. Birgit Krummheuer
    Media and Public Relations
    MPG Institute for Solar System Research,
    Göttingen
    +49 173 3958625
    Krummheuer@mps.mpg.de

    Dr. Lakshmi P. Chitta
    Scientist
    MPG Institute for Solar System Research,
    Göttingen
    +49 551 384979-406
    Chitta@mps.mpg.de

    Researchers discover an important clue as to what mechanism drives the solar wind.

    Using observational data from the U.S. weather satellites GOES, a team of researchers led by the MPG Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany has taken an important step toward unlocking one of the Sun’s most persevering secrets: How does our star launch the particles constituting the solar wind into space?

    The data provide a unique view of a key region in the solar corona to which researchers have had little access so far. There, the team has for the first time captured a dynamic web-like network of elongated, interwoven plasma structures. Together with data from other space probes and extensive computer simulations, a clear picture emerges: where the elongated coronal web structures interact, magnetic energy is discharged – and particles escape into space.

    1
    The Sun`s atmosphere: Computer simulation of the architecture of the magnetic field in the middle corona on August 17, 2018. The ray-like features in this snapshot are the underlying magnetic architecture of the observed coronal web. In the middle corona the predominantly closed magnetic field lines close to the Sun give way to the predominantly open field lines of the outer corona.
    © Chitta et al./Nature Astronomy.

    The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have traditionally concerned themselves with other things than the Sun. Since 1974, the system has been orbiting our planet at an altitude of about 36000 kilometers and continuously providing Earth-related data for example for weather and storm forecasting. Over the years, the original configuration has been expanded to include newer satellites. The three most recent ones currently operating are additionally equipped with instruments that look at the Sun for space weather forecasting. They can image ultraviolet radiation from our star’s corona.

    An exploratory observing campaign to image the extended solar corona took place in August and September 2018. For more than a month, GOES’s Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI) not only looked directly at the Sun as it usually does, but also captured images to either side of it. “We had the rare opportunity to use an instrument in an unusual way to observe a region that has not really been explored,” said Dr. Dan Seaton of SwRI, who served as chief scientist for SUVI during the observation campaign. “We didn’t even know if it would work, but we knew if it did, we’d make important discoveries.” By combining the images from the different viewing angles, the instrument’s field of view could be significantly enlarged and thus, for the first time, the entire middle corona, a layer of the solar atmosphere from 350 thousand kilometers above the Sun’s visible surface, could be imaged in ultraviolet light.

    Other spacecrafts that study the Sun and collect data from the corona, such as NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) as well as NASA’s and ESA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), look into deeper or higher layers.

    “In the middle corona, solar research has had something of a blind spot. The GOES data now provides a significant improvement,” said Dr. Pradeep Chitta of MPS, lead author of the new study. In the middle corona, researchers suspect processes that drive and modulate the solar wind.

    Traveling through space at supersonic speeds

    The solar wind is one of our star’s most wide-reaching features. The stream of charged particles that the Sun hurls into space travels all the way to the edge of our Solar System, creating the heliosphere, a bubble of rarefied plasma that marks the Sun’s sphere of influence.

    Depending on its speed, solar wind is divided into fast and slow components. The so-called fast solar wind, which reaches speeds of more than 500 kilometers per second, originates from interiors of coronal holes, regions that appear dark in coronal ultraviolet radiation. The source regions of slow solar wind are less certain though. But even the particles of the slow solar wind race through space at supersonic speeds of 300 to 500 kilometers per second.

    This slower component of the solar wind still raises many questions. Hot coronal plasma over one million degrees needs to escape the Sun to form the slow solar wind. What mechanism is at work here? Moreover, the slow solar wind is not homogeneous, but reveals, at least in part, a ray-like structure of clearly distinguishable streamers. Where and how do they originate? These are the questions addressed in the new study.

    3
    The origin of the solar wind: This is a mosaic of images taken by the GOES instrument SUVI and the SOHO coronagraph LASCO on August 17, 2018. Outside the white marked circle, LASCO’s field of view shows the streams of the slow solar wind. These connect seamlessly to the structures of the coronal web network in the mid-corona, which can be seen inside the white-marked circle. Where the long filaments of the coronal web interact, the slow solar wind begins its journey into space. © Chitta et al./Nature Astronomy; GOES/SUVI / SOHO/LASCO.

    In the GOES data, a region near the equator can be seen that aroused the researchers’ particular interest: two coronal holes, where the solar wind streams away from the Sun unimpeded, in close proximity to a region with high magnetic field strength. Interactions between systems like these are considered to be possible starting points of the slow solar wind. Above this region, the GOES data show elongated plasma structures in the middle corona pointing radially outward. The team of authors refers to this phenomenon, which has now been directly imaged for the first time, as a coronal web. The web is constantly in motion: its structures interact and regroup.

    Researchers have long known the solar plasma of the outer corona to exhibit a similar architecture. For decades, the coronagraph LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) on board the SOHO spacecraft, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, has been providing images from this region in visible light. Scientists interpret the jet-like streams in the outer corona as the structure of the slow solar wind that begins its journey into space there. As the new study now impressively shows, this structure already prevails in the middle corona.

    Influence of the solar magnetic field

    To better understand the phenomenon, the researchers also analyzed data from other space probes: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) provided a simultaneous view of the Sun’s surface; the STEREO-A spacecraft, which has been preceding Earth on its orbit around the Sun since 2006, offered a perspective from the side.

    Using modern computational techniques that incorporate remote sensing observations of the Sun, researchers can use supercomputers to build realistic 3D models of the elusive magnetic field in the solar corona. In this study, the team used an advanced magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model to simulate the magnetic field and plasma state of the corona for this time period. “This helped us connect the fascinating dynamics that we observed in the middle corona to the prevailing theories of solar wind formation,” said Dr. Cooper Downs of Predictive Science Inc., who performed the computer simulations.

    As the calculations show, the structures of the coronal web follow the magnetic field lines. “Our analysis suggests that the architecture of the magnetic field in the middle corona is imprinted on the slow solar wind and plays an important role in accelerating the particles into space”, said Chitta. According to the team’s new results, the hot solar plasma in the middle corona flows along the open magnetic field lines of the coronal web. Where the field lines cross and interact, energy is released.

    There is much to suggest that the researchers are on to a fundamental phenomenon. “During periods of high solar activity, coronal holes often occur near the equator in close proximity to areas of high magnetic field strength,” said Chitta. “The coronal network we observed is therefore unlikely to be an isolated case,” he adds.

    The team hopes to gain further and more detailed insights from future solar missions. Some of them, such as ESA’s Proba-3 mission planned for 2024, are equipped with instruments that specifically target the middle corona.

    The MPS is involved in processing and analyzing the data of this mission. Together with observational data from currently operating probes such as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and ESA’s Solar Orbiter, which leave the Earth-Sun-line, this will enable a better understanding of the three-dimensional structure of the coronal web.

    Science paper:
    Nature Astronomy
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The MPG Institute for Solar System Research [MPG Institut für Sonnensystemforschung] (DE) has had an eventful history – with several moves, changes of name, and structural developments. The first prototype of the current institute was founded in 1934 in Mecklenburg; it moved to Katlenburg-Lindau in 1946. Not just the location of the buildings changed – the topic of research also moved, from Earth to outer space. In the first decades the focus of research was the stratosphere and ionosphere of the Earth, but since 1997 the institute exclusively researches the physics of planets and the Sun. In January 2014 the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research has relocated to it’s new home: a new building in Göttingen close to the Northern Campus of the University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen] (DE).

    MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] (DE) is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.

    According to its primary goal, the MPG Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014) MPG Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. Society budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion.

    The MPG Institutes focus on excellence in research. The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the MPG institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and The National Institutes of Health). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN), The Russian Academy of Sciences [Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к](RU) and Harvard University. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the MPG Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.

    The MPG Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.

    History

    The organization was established in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (KWG), a non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The KWG was one of the world’s leading research organizations; its board of directors included scientists like Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, and Fritz Haber. In 1946, Otto Hahn assumed the position of President of KWG, and in 1948, the society was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPG) after its former President (1930–37) Max Planck, who died in 1947.

    The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of non-university research institutions (based on international peer review by academics) placed the MPG Society as No.1 in the world for science research, and No.3 in technology research (behind AT&T Corporation and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    The domain mpg.de attracted at least 1.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.

    MPG Institutes and research groups

    The MPG Society consists of over 80 research institutes. In addition, the society funds a number of Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) and International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). The purpose of establishing independent research groups at various universities is to strengthen the required networking between universities and institutes of the Max Planck Society.
    The research units are primarily located across Europe with a few in South Korea and the U.S. In 2007, the Society established its first non-European centre, with an institute on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (US) focusing on neuroscience.
    The MPG Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature or which require resources that cannot be met by the state universities.

    Internally, MPG Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. Other core members include Junior and Senior Research Fellows.

    In addition, there are several associated institutes:

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:

    • Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
    • International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
    • International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPI for Astronomy
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPI for Astrophysics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
    • International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
    • International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPI for Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
    • International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPI for Gravitational Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
    • International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine
    • International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
    • International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
    • International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
    • International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen hosted by MPI for Solar System Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPI for Radio Astronomy (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
    • International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at Max Planck Institute for Iron Research GmbH
    • International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg

    Max Planck Schools

    • Max Planck School of Cognition
    • Max Planck School Matter to Life
    • Max Planck School of Photonics

    Max Planck Center

    • The Max Planck Centre for Attosecond Science (MPC-AS), POSTECH Pohang
    • The Max Planck POSTECH Center for Complex Phase Materials, POSTECH Pohang

    Max Planck Institutes

    Among others:
    • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Bonn
    • Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen was closed in 2005;
    • Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology in Ladenburg b. Heidelberg was closed in 2003;
    • Max Planck Institute for Economics in Jena was renamed to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in 2014;
    • Max Planck Institute for Ionospheric Research in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in 1958;
    • Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart
    • Max Planck Institute of Oceanic Biology in Wilhelmshaven was renamed to Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology in 1968 and moved to Ladenburg 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich merged into the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Protein and Leather Research in Regensburg moved to Munich 1957 and was united with the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Virus Research in Tübingen was renamed as Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in 1985;
    • Max Planck Institute for the Study of the Scientific-Technical World in Starnberg (from 1970 until 1981 (closed)) directed by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and Jürgen Habermas.
    • Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology
    • Max Planck Institute of Experimental Endocrinology
    • Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law
    • Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics
    • Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding

     
  • richardmitnick 5:28 pm on November 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "Secrets of sunspots and solar magnetic fields investigated in NASA supercomputing simulations", , , , , Magnetic fields govern most of the solar activity we can observe but how they do this is still poorly understood., Solar research, , The Sun is much more than just a source of light for Earth—it's a dynamic and complex star with storms and flares and movement causing it to change constantly.   

    From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Via “phys.org” : “Secrets of sunspots and solar magnetic fields investigated in NASA supercomputing simulations” 

    From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    Via

    “phys.org”

    11.22.22
    Frank Tavares | The National Aeronautics and Space Agency

    The Sun is much more than just a source of light for Earth—it’s a dynamic and complex star, with storms, flares, and movement causing it to change constantly. Magnetic fields govern most of the solar activity we can observe but how they do this is still poorly understood. New results based on simulations out of NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley are painting a more complete picture of one of the most prominent magnetically-driven solar features—a cycle of sunspot formation known as a “torsional oscillation.”

    A computational analysis of data about the Sun’s structure and dynamics from two NASA spacecraft has revealed the strength of these torsional oscillations driven by the magnetic fields in the deep interior of the Sun are continuing to decline. This indicates that the current sunspot cycle may be weaker than the previous one, and the long-term trend of declining magnetic fields of the Sun is likely to continue. Such changes in the Sun’s interior may have impacts on space weather and the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

    The sunspot cycle begins when a sunspot begins to form at about 30 degrees latitude on the Sun’s surface. The formation zone then begins to migrate towards the equator. At its peak intensity, the Sun’s global magnetic field has its polar regions reversed—as if there were a positive and negative end of a magnet at each of the Sun’s poles, and they were switched. These 22-year variations are caused by dynamo processes inside the Sun.


    Supercomputing Simulations Investigate Sunspots and Solar Magnetic Fields
    This simulation shows the zonal flow patterns inside the Sun. Flow acceleration is shown in red, and deceleration in blue. The inner sphere shows the bottom of the convection zone. The study of these flows in the deep interior of the Sun through analysis of helioseismology data and numerical simulations helps to understand the processes of magnetic field generation and the origin of solar magnetic cycles. Credit: Alexander Kosovichev/New Jersey Institute of Technology; Tim Sandstrom/NASA Ames.

    A dynamo process is when rotating, convecting, and electrically conducting fluid or plasma helps maintain a magnetic field. These deep magnetic fields are hidden, and can’t be observed directly, but their effects can be seen in the variations of solar rotation, creating a cyclical pattern of migrating flows across zones—the torsional oscillations. In some areas, this rotation speeds up or slows down, while in others it remains steady.

    This analysis used data from two NASA missions, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

    The Joint Science Operations Center at Stanford University processed data from 22 years of observations from both missions—more than five petabytes in total. NASA’s supercomputing facilities handled flow analysis, numerical modeling, and visualization that gave scientists a better look at this complex pattern.

    Going forward, improvements to the data’s resolution, data analysis techniques, and simulation models will help merge models of the Sun’s magnetic fields with those of sunspot activity, advancing the understanding of how these processes impact the Sun’s deep interior. What happens with the Sun, including the processes beneath its surface, affects the space weather that impacts the entire solar system, including Earth. The more we know about the star that lights our home, the better we can understand its impacts on our home planet.

    Aitken at NASA Ames expands to become NASA’s most powerful supercomputer

    A computational analysis of data about the Sun’s structure and dynamics from two NASA spacecraft has revealed the strength of these torsional oscillations driven by the magnetic fields in the deep interior of the Sun are continuing to decline. This indicates that the current sunspot cycle may be weaker than the previous one, and the long-term trend of declining magnetic fields of the Sun is likely to continue. Such changes in the Sun’s interior may have impacts on space weather and the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

    The sunspot cycle begins when a sunspot begins to form at about 30 degrees latitude on the Sun’s surface. The formation zone then begins to migrate towards the equator. At its peak intensity, the Sun’s global magnetic field has its polar regions reversed—as if there were a positive and negative end of a magnet at each of the Sun’s poles, and they were switched. These 22-year variations are caused by dynamo processes inside the Sun.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra,
    Spitzer and associated programs, and now the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:54 pm on October 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Tree Rings Chronicle a Mysterious Cosmic Storm That Strikes Every Thousand Years", A large spike in radiocarbon found in trees around the world means an uptick in cosmic radiation., , Based on available data there's roughly a one percent chance of seeing another event within the next decade., If one of these happened today it would destroy technology including satellites; internet cables; long-distance power lines and transformers., Linking spikes in this carbon isotope with the growth rings in trees can give us a reliable record of radiation storms going back thousands of years., Radiocarbon is relatively scarce. It forms only in the upper atmosphere when cosmic rays collide with nitrogen atoms triggering a nuclear reaction that creates the radiocarbon., , Solar research, The history of Earth's encounters with storms of cosmic radiation is there to decipher if you know how to look. The main clue is a radioactive isotope of carbon called carbon-14 ., The most colossal of these events-known as "Miyake events"- occur around once every thousand years., The radiocarbon deposition can be traced back through time giving a record of radiation activity over tens of millennia., The science team modeled the global carbon cycle to reconstruct the process over a 10000-year period to gain insight into the scale and nature of the Miyake events.", , We have a constant but very small supply of the stuff raining down on the surface. Some of it gets caught up in tree rings., When radiation slams into Earth's atmosphere it can alter any nitrogen atoms it slams into to produce a form of carbon which is in turn absorbed by plants.   

    From The University of Queensland (AU) Via “Science Alert (AU)” : “Tree Rings Chronicle a Mysterious Cosmic Storm That Strikes Every Thousand Years” 

    u-queensland-bloc

    From The University of Queensland (AU)

    Via

    ScienceAlert

    “Science Alert (AU)”

    10.26.22
    Michelle Starr

    1
    (The University of Queensland)

    The history of Earth’s bombardment with cosmic radiation is written in the trees.

    Specifically, when radiation slams into Earth’s atmosphere, it can alter any nitrogen atoms it slams into to produce a form of carbon, which is in turn absorbed by plants. Linking spikes in this carbon isotope with the growth rings in trees can give us a reliable record of radiation storms going back thousands of years.

    This record shows us that the most colossal of these events, known as “Miyake events” (after the scientist who discovered them), occur around once every thousand years. However, we don’t know what causes them – and new research suggests that our leading theory, involving giant solar flares, could be off the table.

    Without an easy way to predict these potentially devastating events, we’re left with a serious problem.

    “We need to know more, because if one of these happened today, it would destroy technology including satellites, internet cables, long-distance power lines and transformers,” says astrophysicist Benjamin Pope of the University of Queensland in Australia.

    “The effect on global infrastructure would be unimaginable.”

    The history of Earth’s encounters with storms of cosmic radiation is there to decipher if you know how to look. The main clue is a radioactive isotope of carbon called carbon-14, often referred to as radiocarbon. Compared to other naturally occurring isotopes of carbon on Earth, radiocarbon is relatively scarce. It forms only in the upper atmosphere, when cosmic rays collide with nitrogen atoms, triggering a nuclear reaction that creates radiocarbon.

    Because cosmic rays are constantly colliding with our atmosphere, we have a constant but very small supply of the stuff raining down on the surface. Some of it gets caught up in tree rings. Since trees add a new growth ring every year, the radiocarbon deposition can be traced back through time, giving a record of radiation activity over tens of millennia.

    A large spike in radiocarbon found in trees around the world means an uptick in cosmic radiation. There are several mechanisms that can cause this, and solar flares are a big one. But there are some other possible sources of radiation storms that haven’t been conclusively ruled out. Nor have solar flares been conclusively ruled in.

    Because interpreting tree ring data necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the global carbon cycle, a team of researchers led by mathematician Qingyuan Zhang of the University of Queensland set about reconstructing the global carbon cycle, based on every scrap of tree ring radiocarbon data they could get their hands on.

    “When radiation strikes the atmosphere it produces radioactive carbon-14, which filters through the air, oceans, plants, and animals, and produces an annual record of radiation in tree rings,” Zhang explains.

    “We modeled the global carbon cycle to reconstruct the process over a 10,000-year period, to gain insight into the scale and nature of the Miyake events.”

    The results of this modeling gave the team an extremely detailed picture of a number of radiation events – enough to conclude that the timing and profile is inconsistent with solar flares. The spikes in radiocarbon do not correlate with sunspot activity, which is itself linked with flare activity. Some spikes persisted across multiple years.

    And there was inconsistency in the radiocarbon profiles between regions for the same event. For one major event, recorded in 774 CE, some trees in some parts of the world showed sharp, sudden rises in radiocarbon for one year, while others showed a slower spike across two to three years.

    “Rather than a single instantaneous explosion or flare, what we may be looking at is a kind of astrophysical ‘storm’ or outburst,” Zhang says.

    The researchers don’t know, at this point, what might be causing those outbursts, but there are a number of candidates. One of those is supernova events, the radiation from which can blast across space. A supernova possibly did take place in 774 CE, and scientists have made links between radiocarbon spikes and other possible supernova events, but we have known supernovae with no radiocarbon spikes, and spikes with no linked supernovae.

    Other potential causes include solar superflares, but a flare powerful enough to produce the 774 CE radiocarbon spike is unlikely to have erupted from our Sun. Perhaps there’s some previously unrecorded solar activity. But the fact is, there’s no simple explanation that neatly explains what causes Miyake events.

    And this, according to the researchers, is a worry. The human world has changed dramatically since 774 CE; a Miyake event now could cause what the scientists call an “internet apocalypse” as infrastructure gets damaged, harm the health of air travelers, and even deplete the ozone layer.

    “Based on available data, there’s roughly a one percent chance of seeing another one within the next decade,” Pope says.

    “But we don’t know how to predict it or what harms it may cause. These odds are quite alarming, and lay the foundation for further research.”

    The research has been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-queensland-campus

    The University of Queensland (AU) is a public research university located primarily in Brisbane, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland. Founded in 1909 by the Queensland parliament, UQ is one of the six sandstone universities, an informal designation of the oldest university in each state. The University of Queensland was ranked second nationally by the Australian Research Council in the latest research assessment and equal second in Australia based on the average of four major global university league tables. The University of Queensland is a founding member of edX, Australia’s leading Group of Eight and the international research-intensive Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

    The main St Lucia campus occupies much of the riverside inner suburb of St Lucia, southwest of the Brisbane central business district. Other University of Queensland campuses and facilities are located throughout Queensland, the largest of which are the Gatton campus and the Mayne Medical School. University of Queensland’s overseas establishments include University of Queensland North America office in Washington D.C., and the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School in Louisiana, United States.

    The university offers associate, bachelor, master, doctoral, and higher doctorate degrees through a college, a graduate school, and six faculties. University of Queensland incorporates over one hundred research institutes and centres offering research programs, such as the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre, the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and the University of Queensland Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation. Recent notable research of the university include pioneering the invention of the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical cancer, developing a COVID-19 vaccine that was in human trials, and the development of high-performance superconducting MRI magnets for portable scanning of human limbs.

    The University of Queensland counts two Nobel laureates (Peter C. Doherty and John Harsanyi), over a hundred Olympians winning numerous gold medals, and 117 Rhodes Scholars among its alumni and former staff. University of Queensland’s alumni also include The University of California-San Francisco,The University of Queensland (AU) Chancellor Sam Hawgood, the first female Governor-General of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce, former President of King’s College London (UK) Ed Byrne, member of United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Council for Science and Technology Max Lu, Oscar and Emmy awards winner Geoffrey Rush, triple Grammy Award winner Tim Munro, the former CEO and Chairman of Dow Chemical, and current Director of DowDuPont Andrew N. Liveris.

    Research

    The University of Queensland has a strong research focus in science, medicine and technology. The university’s research advancement includes pioneering the development of the cervical cancer vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, by University of Queensland Professor Ian Frazer. In 2009, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation reported that University of Queensland had taken the lead in numerous areas of cancer research.

    In the Commonwealth Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report, University of Queensland’s research is rated above world standard in more broad fields than at any other Australian university (in 22 broad fields), and more University of Queensland researchers are working in research fields that ERA has assessed as above world standard than at any other Australian university. University of Queensland research in biomedical and clinical health sciences, technology, engineering, biological sciences, chemical sciences, environmental sciences, and physical sciences was ranked above world standard (rating 5).

    In 2015, University of Queensland is ranked by Nature Index as the research institution with the highest volume of research output in both interdisciplinary journals Nature and Science within the southern hemisphere, with approximately twofold more output than the global average.

    In 2020 Clarivate named 34 UQ professors to its list of Highly Cited Researchers.

    Aside from disciplinary-focused teaching and research within the academic faculties, the university maintains a number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centres at the national, state and university levels. For example, the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the University of Queensland Seismology Station, Heron Island Research Station and the Institute of Modern Languages.

    With the support from the Queensland Government, the Australian Government and major donor The Atlantic Philanthropies, The University of Queensland dedicates basic, translational and applied research via the following research-focused institutes:

    Institute for Molecular Bioscience – within the Queensland Bioscience Precinct which houses scientists from the CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) and the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery

    Translational Research Institute, which houses The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute, School of Medicine and the Mater Medical Research Institute
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    Institute for Social Science Research
    Sustainable Mineral Institute
    Global Change Institute
    Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science
    Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Centre for Advanced Imaging
    Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre
    UQ Dow Centre

    The University of Queensland plays a key role in Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners, Queensland’s first academic health science system. This partnership currently comprises Children’s Health Queensland, Mater Health Services, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Metro South Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, The Queensland University of Technology (AU), The University of Queensland and the Translational Research Institute.

    International partnerships

    The University of Queensland has a number of agreements in place with many of her international peers, including: Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of California, Washington University in St. Louis, The University of Toronto (CA), McGill University (CA), The University of British Columbia (CA), Imperial College London (UK), University College London (UK), The University of Edinburgh (SCT), Balsillie School of International Affairs (CA), Sciences Po (FR), Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München](DE), Technical University of Munich [Technische Universität München] (DE), The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ](CH), The University of Auckland (NZ), The National University of Singapore [universiti kebangsaan singapura] (SG), Nanyang Technological University [Universiti Teknologi Nanyang](SG),Peking University [北京大学](CN), The University of Hong Kong [香港大學] (HKU) (HK), The University of Tokyo[(東京大] (JP), The National Taiwan University [國立臺灣大學](TW), and The Seoul National University [서울대학교](KR).

     
  • richardmitnick 4:42 pm on October 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA catches Sun releasing an ‘X level’ solar flare", A 1989 solar flare left six million Canadians without power for nine hours., A solar flare on Oct. 2 2022., , Flares regularly come with coronal mass ejections which can impact radio communications; electric power grids; navigation signals and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts., In 2000 an X5-class solar flare on Bastille Day caused some satellites to short circuit and led to radio blackouts., Major solar flares can knock out certain radio frequencies and can make GPS positioning less accurate., Solar research, The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, X-flares are the top classification and these are 10 times stronger than the next level down – M flares.   

    From The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory Via “COSMOS (AU)” : “NASA catches Sun releasing an ‘X level’ solar flare” 

    From The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

    Via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    “COSMOS (AU)”

    10.5.22
    Jacinta Bowler

    1
    NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash on the top right – on Oct. 2, 2022. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in orange. Credit: NASA/SDO.

    NASA has snapped the most powerful catagory of solar flare on camera while it was on it’s way to Earth.

    The flare – which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [below]– is classed as an X1. X-class denotes that it’s one of the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.

    X-flares are the top classification and these are 10 times stronger than the next level down – M flares.

    Major solar flares can knock out certain radio frequencies and can make GPS positioning less accurate.

    We’re currently heading towards the Solar Maximum – a time when solar flares are at their most frequent, strong, and potentially catastrophic if they hit Earth.

    But even before we get there, the last few months have exceeded predictions and occasionally SpaceX satellites fall out of the sky as a result.

    Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy, creating an eruption of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun’s atmosphere. Flares regularly come with coronal mass ejections, or solar radiation storms, which can impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.

    As we become increasingly reliant on technology and satellites which are less protected from solar activity, such events could be even more troubling.

    In 1972, a solar flare knocked out long-distance telephone communication across the US while a 1989 solar flare left six million Canadians without power for nine hours. And in 2000 an X5-class solar flare on Bastille Day caused some satellites to short circuit and led to radio blackouts.

    A huge silver lining though is that auroras are more common and can be seen further from the poles after a big solar storm.

    This rise and fall of solar activity is on an 11 year cycle, and at its most active, called solar maximum, the Sun is freckled with sunspots and its magnetic poles reverse.

    During solar minimum, on the other hand, sunspots are few and far between. Often, the Sun is as blank and featureless as an egg yolk.

    December 2019 marked the beginning of Solar Cycle 25, and already we’re seeing a huge ramp up of solar activity before the next solar maximum in 2025.

    Space.com reported that the X1 solar flare might have disrupted Hurricane Ian disaster response. The radio blackout, classed by NOAA as ‘R3’, likely affected rescue workers using 25 MHz radios to communicate.

    The disruption in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere caused by the flare may also have disrupted some GPS positioning.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory is a NASA mission which has been observing the Sun since 2010. Launched on 11 February 2010, the observatory is part of the Living With a Star (LWS) program.

    The goal of the LWS program is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to effectively address those aspects of the connected Sun–Earth system directly affecting life and society. The goal of the SDO is to understand the influence of the Sun on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. SDO has been investigating how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured, how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.

    The SDO spacecraft was developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and launched on 11 February 2010, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). The primary mission lasted five years and three months, with expendables expected to last at least ten years. Some consider SDO to be a follow-on mission to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

    SDO is a three-axis stabilized spacecraft, with two solar arrays, and two high-gain antennas, in an inclined geosynchronous orbit around Earth.

    The spacecraft includes three instruments:

    the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) built in partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP),
    the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) built in partnership with Stanford University, and
    the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) built in partnership with the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL).

    Data which is collected by the craft is made available as soon as possible, after it is received.

    As of February 2020, SDO is expected to remain operational until 2030.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

    Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [NASA/ESA Hubble, NASA Chandra, NASA Spitzer, and associated programs.] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:20 am on September 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Where do High-Energy Particles That Endanger Satellites and Astronauts and Airplanes Come From?", A clear pattern of how and when flare-ups will occur has remained enduringly difficult to identify., , For decades scientists have been trying to solve a vexing problem about the weather in outer space., Solar research   

    From Columbia University: “Where do High-Energy Particles That Endanger Satellites and Astronauts and Airplanes Come From?” 

    Columbia U bloc

    From Columbia University

    9.13.22
    Christopher D. Shea

    For decades scientists have been trying to solve a vexing problem about the weather in outer space: At unpredictable times, high-energy particles bombard the earth and objects outside the earth’s atmosphere with radiation that can endanger the lives of astronauts and destroy satellites’ electronic equipment. These flare-ups can even trigger showers of radiation strong enough to reach passengers in airplanes flying over the North Pole. Despite scientists’ best efforts, a clear pattern of how and when flare-ups will occur has remained enduringly difficult to identify.

    This week, in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below], authors Luca Comisso and Lorenzo Sironi of Columbia’s Department of Astronomy and the Astrophysics Laboratory, have for the first time used supercomputers to simulate when and how high-energy particles are born in turbulent environments like that on the atmosphere of the sun. This new research paves the way for more accurate predictions of when dangerous bursts of these particles will occur.

    “This exciting new research will allow us to better predict the origin of solar energetic particles and improve forecasting models of space weather events, a key goal of NASA and other space agencies and governments around the globe,” Comisso said. Within the next couple of years, he added, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, the closest spacecraft to the sun, may be able to validate the paper’s findings by directly observing the predicted distribution of high-energy particles that are generated in the sun’s outer atmosphere.

    In their paper Comisso and Sironi demonstrate that magnetic fields in the outer atmosphere of the sun can accelerate ions and electrons up to velocities close to the speed of light. The sun and other stars’ outer atmosphere consist of particles in a plasma state, a highly turbulent state distinct from liquid, gas, and solid states. Scientists have long believed that the sun’s plasma generates high-energy particles. But particles in plasma move so erratically and unpredictably that they have until now not been able to fully demonstrate how and when this occurs.

    Using supercomputers at Columbia, NASA, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, Comisso and Sironi created computer simulations that show the exact movements of electrons and ions in the sun’s plasma. These simulations mimic the atmospheric conditions on the sun, and provide the most extensive data gathered to-date on how and when high-energy particles will form.

    The research provides answers to questions that scientists have been investigating for at least 70 years: In 1949, the physicist Enrico Fermi began to investigate magnetic fields in outer space as a potential source of the high-energy particles (which he called cosmic rays) that were observed entering the earth’s atmosphere. Since then, scientists have suspected that the sun’s plasma is a major source of these particles, but definitively proving it has been difficult.

    Comisso and Sironi’s research, which was conducted with support from NASA and the National Science Foundation, has implications far beyond our own solar system. The vast majority of the observable matter in the universe is in a plasma state. Understanding how some of the particles that constitute plasma can be accelerated to high-energy levels is an important new research area since energetic particles are routinely observed not just around the sun but also in other environments across the universe, including the surroundings of black holes and neutron stars.

    While Comisso and Sironi’s new paper focuses on the sun, further simulations could be run in other contexts to understand how and when distant stars, black holes, and other entities in the universe will generate their own bursts of energy.

    “Our results center on the sun but can also be seen as a starting point to better understanding how high-energy particles are produced in more distant stars and around black holes,” Comisso said. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what supercomputer simulations can tell us about how these particles are born across the universe.”

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:04 pm on September 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Solar Orbiter solves magnetic switchback mystery", Solar research,   

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU): “Solar Orbiter solves magnetic switchback mystery” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)

    9.12.22

    1
    How a solar switchback is formed.
    9.12.22
    Solar Orbiter has made the first ever remote sensing observation of a magnetic phenomenon called a solar ‘switchback’, proving their origin in the solar surface and pointing to a mechanism that might help accelerate the solar wind.

    The central image shows the Sun as seen by the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument on 25 March 2022. An active region on the Sun is indicated, which is thought to be the source of the observed ‘switchback’ identified in the solar corona by the Metis instrument.

    An analysis of the outflow velocity in the corona shows that the switchback corresponds to very slow-moving plasma (image at right). This links it to the active region as such slow speeds would be expected above an active region that has yet to release its stored energy.

    The magnetic field line sketches show the chain of events that are thought to be taking place in the magnetic field lines to generate the switchback. Active regions on the Sun can feature open and closed magnetic field lines. The closed lines arch up into the solar atmosphere before curving round back into the Sun. The open field lines connect with the interplanetary magnetic field of the Solar System. When an open magnetic region interacts with a closed region, the magnetic field lines can reconnect, creating an approximately S-shape field line and producing a burst of energy. As the field line responds to the reconnection and the release of energy, a kink is set propagating outwards. This is the switchback. A similar switchback is also sent in the opposite direction, down the field line and into the Sun.

    This is the first ever remote sensing observation of a switchback, and may provide a mechanism that might help accelerate the solar wind.

    © ESA & NASA/Solar Orbiter/EUI & Metis Teams and D. Telloni et al. (2022); Zank et al. (2020)

    With data from its closest pass of the Sun yet, the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft has found compelling clues as to the origin of magnetic switchbacks, and points towards how their physical formation mechanism might help accelerate the solar wind.

    Solar Orbiter has made the first ever remote sensing observation consistent with a magnetic phenomenon called a solar switchback – sudden and large deflections of the solar wind’s magnetic field. The new observation provides a full view of the structure, in this case confirming it has an S-shaped character, as predicted. Furthermore, the global perspective provided by the Solar Orbiter data indicates that these rapidly changing magnetic fields can have their origin near the surface of the Sun.


    Switchback in action.

    While a number of spacecraft have flown through these puzzling regions before, in situ data only allow for a measurement at a single point and time. Consequently, the structure and shape of the switchback has to be inferred from plasma and magnetic field properties measured at one point.

    When the German-US Helios 1 and 2 spacecraft flew close to the Sun in the mid 1970s, both probes recorded sudden reversals of the Sun’s magnetic field.

    These mysterious reversals were always abrupt and always temporary, lasting from a few seconds to a number of hours before the magnetic field switched back to its original direction.

    These magnetic structures were also probed at much larger distances from the Sun by the Ulysses spacecraft in the late 1990s.

    Instead of a third the Earth’s orbital radius from the Sun, where the Helios missions made their closest pass, Ulysses operated mostly beyond the Earth’s orbit.

    Their number rose dramatically with the arrival of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in 2018.

    This clearly indicated that the sudden magnetic field reversals are more numerous close to the Sun, and led to the suggestion that they were caused by S-shaped kinks in the magnetic field. This puzzling behaviour earned the phenomenon the name of switchbacks. A number of ideas were proposed as to how these might form.

    On 25 March 2022, Solar Orbiter was just a day away from a close pass of the Sun – bringing it within the orbit of planet Mercury – and its Metis instrument was taking data. Metis blocks out the bright glare of light from the Sun’s surface and takes pictures of the Sun’s outer atmosphere, known as the corona. The particles in the corona are electrically charged and follow the Sun’s magnetic field lines out into space. The electrically charged particles themselves are called a plasma.

    3
    9.12.22
    The Sun as seen by the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft on 25 March 2022, one day before its closest approach of about 0.32 au, which brought it inside the orbit of planet Mercury. The central image was taken by the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument. The outer image was taken by the coronagraph Metis, an instrument that blocks out the bright light of the Sun’s surface in order to see the Sun’s faint outer atmosphere, known as the corona. The Metis image has been processed to bring out structures in the corona. This revealed the switchback (the prominent white/light blue feature at the roughly 8 o’clock position in the lower left). It appears to trace back to the active region on the surface of the Sun, where loops of magnetism have broken through the Sun’s surface. © ESA & NASA/Solar Orbiter/EUI & Metis Teams and D. Telloni et al. (2022)

    At around 20:39 UT, Metis recorded an image of the solar corona that showed a distorted S-shaped kink in the coronal plasma. To Daniele Telloni, National Institute for Astrophysics – Astrophysical Observatory of Torino, Italy, it looked suspiciously like a solar switchback.

    Comparing the Metis image, which had been taken in visible light, with a concurrent image taken by Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument, he saw that the candidate switchback was taking place above an active region catalogued as AR 12972. Active regions are associated with sunspots and magnetic activity. Further analysis of the Metis data showed that the speed of the plasma above this region was very slow, as would be expected from an active region that has yet to release its stored energy.

    Daniele instantly thought this resembled a generating mechanism for the switchbacks proposed by Prof. Gary Zank, University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA. The theory looked at the way different magnetic regions near the surface of the Sun interact with each other.

    4
    Creating a solar switchback.

    Close to the Sun, and especially above active regions, there are open and closed magnetic field lines. The closed lines are loops of magnetism that arch up into the solar atmosphere before curving round and disappearing back into the Sun. Very little plasma can escape into space above these field lines and so the speed of the solar wind tends to be slow here. Open field lines are the reverse, they emanate from the Sun and connect with the interplanetary magnetic field of the Solar System. They are magnetic highways along which the plasma can flow freely, and give rise to the fast solar wind.

    Daniele and Gary proved that switchbacks occur when there is an interaction between a region of open field lines and a region of closed field lines. As the field lines crowd together, they can reconnect into more stable configurations. Rather like cracking a whip, this releases energy and sets an S-shaped disturbance traveling off into space, which a passing spacecraft would record as a switchback.

    According to Gary Zank, who proposed one of the theories for the origin of switchbacks, “The first image from Metis that Daniele showed suggested to me almost immediately the cartoons that we had drawn in developing the mathematical model for a switchback. Of course, the first image was just a snapshot and we had to temper our enthusiasm until we had used the excellent Metis coverage to extract temporal information and do a more detailed spectral analysis of the images themselves. The results proved to be absolutely spectacular!”

    Together with a team of other researchers, they built a computer model of the behavior, and found that their results bore a striking resemblance to the Metis image, especially after they included calculations for how the structure would elongate during its propagation outwards through the solar corona.

    “I would say that this first image of a magnetic switchback in the solar corona has revealed the mystery of their origin” says Daniele, whose results are published in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below].


    Solar switchback mystery solved.

    In understanding switchbacks, solar physicists may also be taking a step toward understanding the details of how the solar wind is accelerated and heated away from the Sun. This is because when spacecraft fly through switchbacks, they often register a localised acceleration of the solar wind.

    “The next step is to try to statistically link switchbacks observed in situ with their source regions on the Sun,” says Daniele. In other words, to have a spacecraft fly through the magnetic reversal and be able to see what’s happened on the solar surface. This is exactly the kind of linkage science that Solar Orbiter was designed to do, but it does not necessarily mean that Solar Orbiter needs to fly through the switchback. It could be another spacecraft, such as Parker Solar Probe. As long as the in-situ data and remote sensing data is concurrent, Daniele can perform the correlation.

    “This is exactly the kind of result we were hoping for with Solar Orbiter,” says Daniel Müller, ESA Project Scientist for Solar Orbiter. “With every orbit, we obtain more data from our suite of ten instruments. Based on results like this one, we will fine-tune the observations planned for Solar Orbiter’s next solar encounter to understand the way in which the Sun connects to the wider magnetic environment of the Solar System. This was Solar Orbiter’s very first close pass to the Sun, so we expect many more exciting results to come.”

    Solar Orbiter’s next close pass of the Sun – again within the orbit of Mercury at a distance of 0.29 times the Earth-Sun distance – will take place on 13 October. Earlier this month, on 4 September, Solar Orbiter made a gravity assist flyby at Venus to adjust its orbit around the Sun; subsequent Venus flybys will start raising the inclination of the spacecraft’s orbit to access higher latitude – more polar – regions of the Sun.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the
    European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with The National Aeronautics and Space Agency to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization) , and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) . The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter annotated.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JP), Indian Space Research Organization (IN), the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos (RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programs include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programs

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme
    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programs:

    Technology Development Element Program
    Science Core Technology Program
    General Study Program
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programs, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt (DE)
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris) (FR)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres (FR)
    The University of Central Lancashire (UK)

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programs (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, The Canadian Space Agency [Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC] (CA) takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programs and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programs. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programs, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO” exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organization for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organizations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programs and to organizing their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organizations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programs. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialized in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programs with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency[La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Hubble Space Telescope

    ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization]Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Space Telescope annotated. Scheduled for launch in December 2021.

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency[中国国家航天局] (CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside, The Russian Federal Space Agency Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»](RU) one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Bepicolumbo in flight illustration. Artist’s impression of BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 12:29 pm on September 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "National Science Foundation Celebrates the Inauguration of its Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope", NSF’s flagship solar telescope-the largest in the world-to herald a new era of solar science., Solar research,   

    From The National Science Foundation: “National Science Foundation Celebrates the Inauguration of its Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope” 

    From The National Science Foundation

    9.5.22

    Dr. Claire Raftery
    NSO Office of Communications
    claire@nso.edu

    U.S. National Science Foundation Celebrates the Inauguration of its Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope New image release in honor of the Inouye Solar Telescope Inauguration Ceremony: The first images of the chromosphere – the area of the Sun’s atmosphere.

    1
    The first images of the chromosphere – the area of the Sun’s atmosphere above the surface – taken with the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on June 3rd, 2022. The image shows a region 82,500 kilometers across at a resolution of 18 km. This image is taken at 486.13 nanometers using the H-beta line from the Balmer series.

    NSF’s flagship solar telescope-the largest in the world-to herald a new era of solar science.

    On August 31, 2022, a delegation of NSF leaders, congressional dignitaries, and members of both the scientific and Native Hawaiian communities gathered near the summit of Haleakalā, Maui to commemorate the inauguration of the world’s most powerful solar telescope. The NSF’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is nearing the completion of the first year of its Operations Commissioning Phase (OCP), delivering on its promise to reveal the Sun in ways never seen before.

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, the images and data produced by Inouye Solar Telescope will write the next chapters of solar physics research, including two new images released in celebration of this week’s events.

    Over 25 years ago, the NSF invested in creating a world-leading, ground-based solar observatory to confront the most pressing questions in solar physics and space weather events that impact Earth. This vision, executed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) through the NSF’s National Solar Observatory (NSO), was realized during the formal inauguration of the Inouye Solar Telescope.

    “NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope is the world’s most powerful solar telescope that will forever change the way we explore and understand our sun,” said NSF Director, Sethuraman Panchanathan. “Its insights will transform how our nation, and the planet, predict and prepare for events like solar storms.”

    The inauguration brought NSF leadership, telescope staff, and members of the scientific community together to acknowledge this historical milestone of bringing the telescope online. Representatives from the NSF, AURA, and the NSO were joined by key House and Senate staffers from the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as key staff from the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee responsible for authorizing and funding the Inouye Solar Telescope.

    The Inouye Solar Telescope is located on land of spiritual and cultural significance to the Native Hawaiian people. The use of this important site to further scientific knowledge is done so with appreciation and respect. Members of the Inouye Solar Telescope Native Hawaiian Working Group were recognized for their invaluable role in educating NSF and NSO staff about cultural issues of importance to them and in providing cultural input throughout the telescope’s construction. Hōkūlani Holt, Director of the Ka Hikina O Ka Lā program at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College, led an opening pule (prayer) in accordance with Hawaiian cultural protocol.

    The Inouye Solar Telescope has embarked on a mission to progress solar science, research, education, and foster relationships with local communities throughout Hawaiʻi. Since OCP began in February 2022, the Inouye Solar Telescope has gathered data for more than 20 of the accepted scientific proposals and has conducted initial coordinated solar observations with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter.

    “With the world’s largest solar telescope now in science operations, we are grateful for all who make this remarkable facility possible,” said Matt Mountain, AURA President. “In particular we thank the people of Hawai‘i for the privilege of operating from this remarkable site, to the National Science Foundation and the US Congress for their consistent support, and to our Inouye Solar Telescope Team, many of whom have tirelessly devoted over a decade to this transformational project. A new era of Solar Physics is beginning!”

    The NSF and NSO supports the development of Hawai‘i’s scientific & technical workforce through educational and workforce development programs. School and community outreach events, participation in the Akamai Workforce Initiative, and the NSF-funded Ka Hikina O Ka Lā program supports Hawai‘i and Native Hawaiian students on their journey to obtaining careers in STEM. The partnership with the National Park Service (Haleakalā National Park) to host Solar Week in 2022 exemplifies the efforts to bring solar science to the general public. Employment opportunities at the Inouye Solar Telescope aim to diversify Hawaiʻi’s job industry and provide STEM-based career opportunities for Hawaiʻiʻs workforce.

    The inauguration puts a stamp on an ambitious, multi-decade project to provide the world with its greatest solar observatory. The celebration honored the collaborative effort between the many entities and individuals needed to bring the telescope to operations. Yesterday marked the beginning of the Inouye Solar Telescope’s 50-year journey to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun, its magnetic behavior, and its influence on Earth. For more information, visit http://www.nso.edu.

    ###

    The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is operated by the National Solar Observatory (NSO), a federally funded research and development center focused on solar research, under management by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The Inouye Solar Telescope and NSO are funded by the National Science Foundation through a cooperative agreement with AURA. The Inouye Solar Telescope is located on land of spiritual and cultural significance to Native Hawaiian people. The use of this important site to further scientific knowledge is done so with appreciation and respect. For more information, visit http://www.nso.edu.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, The National Science Foundation is the major source of federal backing.

    We fulfill our mission chiefly by issuing limited-term grants — currently about 12,000 new awards per year, with an average duration of three years — to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. Most of these awards go to individuals or small groups of investigators. Others provide funding for research centers, instruments and facilities that allow scientists, engineers and students to work at the outermost frontiers of knowledge.

    The National Science Foundation ‘s goals — discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship — provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation’s research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization. We like to say that The National Science Foundation is “where discoveries begin.”

    Many of the discoveries and technological advances have been truly revolutionary. In the past few decades, The National Science Foundation -funded researchers have won some 236 Nobel Prizes as well as other honors too numerous to list. These pioneers have included the scientists or teams that discovered many of the fundamental particles of matter, analyzed the cosmic microwaves left over from the earliest epoch of the universe, developed carbon-14 dating of ancient artifacts, decoded the genetics of viruses, and created an entirely new state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

    The National Science Foundation also funds equipment that is needed by scientists and engineers but is often too expensive for any one group or researcher to afford. Examples of such major research equipment include giant optical and radio telescopes, Antarctic research sites, high-end computer facilities and ultra-high-speed connections, ships for ocean research, sensitive detectors of very subtle physical phenomena and gravitational wave observatories.

    Another essential element in The National Science Foundation ‘s mission is support for science and engineering education, from pre-K through graduate school and beyond. The research we fund is thoroughly integrated with education to help ensure that there will always be plenty of skilled people available to work in new and emerging scientific, engineering and technological fields, and plenty of capable teachers to educate the next generation.

    No single factor is more important to the intellectual and economic progress of society, and to the enhanced well-being of its citizens, than the continuous acquisition of new knowledge. The National Science Foundation is proud to be a major part of that process.

    Specifically, the Foundation’s organic legislation authorizes us to engage in the following activities:

    Initiate and support, through grants and contracts, scientific and engineering research and programs to strengthen scientific and engineering research potential, and education programs at all levels, and appraise the impact of research upon industrial development and the general welfare.

    Award graduate fellowships in the sciences and in engineering.

    Foster the interchange of scientific information among scientists and engineers in the United States and foreign countries.

    Foster and support the development and use of computers and other scientific methods and technologies, primarily for research and education in the sciences.

    Evaluate the status and needs of the various sciences and engineering and take into consideration the results of this evaluation in correlating our research and educational programs with other federal and non-federal programs.

    Provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation and analysis of data on scientific and technical resources in the United States, and provide a source of information for policy formulation by other federal agencies.

    Determine the total amount of federal money received by universities and appropriate organizations for the conduct of scientific and engineering research, including both basic and applied, and construction of facilities where such research is conducted, but excluding development, and report annually thereon to the President and the Congress.

    Initiate and support specific scientific and engineering activities in connection with matters relating to international cooperation, national security and the effects of scientific and technological applications upon society.

    Initiate and support scientific and engineering research, including applied research, at academic and other nonprofit institutions and, at the direction of the President, support applied research at other organizations.

    Recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of basic research and education in the sciences and engineering. Strengthen research and education innovation in the sciences and engineering, including independent research by individuals, throughout the United States.

    Support activities designed to increase the participation of women and minorities and others underrepresented in science and technology.

    At present, The National Science Foundation has a total workforce of about 2,100 at its Alexandria, VA, headquarters, including approximately 1,400 career employees, 200 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 450 contract workers and the staff of the NSB office and the Office of the Inspector General.

    The National Science Foundation is divided into the following seven directorates that support science and engineering research and education: Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, and Education and Human Resources. Each is headed by an assistant director and each is further subdivided into divisions like materials research, ocean sciences and behavioral and cognitive sciences.

    Within The National Science Foundation ‘s Office of the Director, the Office of Integrative Activities also supports research and researchers. Other sections of The National Science Foundation are devoted to financial management, award processing and monitoring, legal affairs, outreach and other functions. The Office of the Inspector General examines the foundation’s work and reports to the NSB and Congress.

    Each year, The National Science Foundation supports an average of about 200,000 scientists, engineers, educators and students at universities, laboratories and field sites all over the United States and throughout the world, from Alaska to Alabama to Africa to Antarctica. You could say that The National Science Foundation support goes “to the ends of the earth” to learn more about the planet and its inhabitants, and to produce fundamental discoveries that further the progress of research and lead to products and services that boost the economy and improve general health and well-being.

    As described in our strategic plan, The National Science Foundation is the only federal agency whose mission includes support for all fields of fundamental science and engineering, except for medical sciences. The National Science Foundation is tasked with keeping the United States at the leading edge of discovery in a wide range of scientific areas, from astronomy to geology to zoology. So, in addition to funding research in the traditional academic areas, the agency also supports “high risk, high pay off” ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but which the public will take for granted tomorrow. And in every case, we ensure that research is fully integrated with education so that today’s revolutionary work will also be training tomorrow’s top scientists and engineers.

    Unlike many other federal agencies, The National Science Foundation does not hire researchers or directly operate our own laboratories or similar facilities. Instead, we support scientists, engineers and educators directly through their own home institutions (typically universities and colleges). Similarly, we fund facilities and equipment such as telescopes, through cooperative agreements with research consortia that have competed successfully for limited-term management contracts.

    The National Science Foundation ‘s job is to determine where the frontiers are, identify the leading U.S. pioneers in these fields and provide money and equipment to help them continue. The results can be transformative. For example, years before most people had heard of “nanotechnology,” The National Science Foundation was supporting scientists and engineers who were learning how to detect, record and manipulate activity at the scale of individual atoms — the nanoscale. Today, scientists are adept at moving atoms around to create devices and materials with properties that are often more useful than those found in nature.

    Dozens of companies are gearing up to produce nanoscale products. The National Science Foundation is funding the research projects, state-of-the-art facilities and educational opportunities that will teach new skills to the science and engineering students who will make up the nanotechnology workforce of tomorrow.

    At the same time, we are looking for the next frontier.

    The National Science Foundation ‘s task of identifying and funding work at the frontiers of science and engineering is not a “top-down” process. The National Science Foundation operates from the “bottom up,” keeping close track of research around the United States and the world, maintaining constant contact with the research community to identify ever-moving horizons of inquiry, monitoring which areas are most likely to result in spectacular progress and choosing the most promising people to conduct the research.

    The National Science Foundation funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. We do this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the U.S. The Foundation considers proposals submitted by organizations on behalf of individuals or groups for support in most fields of research. Interdisciplinary proposals also are eligible for consideration. Awardees are chosen from those who send us proposals asking for a specific amount of support for a specific project.

    Proposals may be submitted in response to the various funding opportunities that are announced on the The National Science Foundation website. These funding opportunities fall into three categories — program descriptions, program announcements and program solicitations — and are the mechanisms The National Science Foundation uses to generate funding requests. At any time, scientists and engineers are also welcome to send in unsolicited proposals for research and education projects, in any existing or emerging field. The Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) provides guidance on proposal preparation and submission and award management. At present, The National Science Foundation receives more than 42,000 proposals per year.

    To ensure that proposals are evaluated in a fair, competitive, transparent and in-depth manner, we use a rigorous system of merit review. Nearly every proposal is evaluated by a minimum of three independent reviewers consisting of scientists, engineers and educators who do not work at NSF or for the institution that employs the proposing researchers. The National Science Foundation selects the reviewers from among the national pool of experts in each field and their evaluations are confidential. On average, approximately 40,000 experts, knowledgeable about the current state of their field, give their time to serve as reviewers each year.

    The reviewer’s job is to decide which projects are of the very highest caliber. The National Science Foundation ‘s merit review process, considered by some to be the “gold standard” of scientific review, ensures that many voices are heard and that only the best projects make it to the funding stage. An enormous amount of research, deliberation, thought and discussion goes into award decisions.

    The National Science Foundation program officer reviews the proposal and analyzes the input received from the external reviewers. After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the program officer makes an “award” or “decline” recommendation to the division director. Final programmatic approval for a proposal is generally completed at The National Science Foundation ‘s division level. A principal investigator (PI) whose proposal for The National Science Foundation support has been declined will receive information and an explanation of the reason(s) for declination, along with copies of the reviews considered in making the decision. If that explanation does not satisfy the PI, he/she may request additional information from the cognizant The National Science Foundation program officer or division director.

    If the program officer makes an award recommendation and the division director concurs, the recommendation is submitted to The National Science Foundation ‘s Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) for award processing. A DGA officer reviews the recommendation from the program division/office for business, financial and policy implications, and the processing and issuance of a grant or cooperative agreement. DGA generally makes awards to academic institutions within 30 days after the program division/office makes its recommendation.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:19 am on September 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Coronal mass ejection hits Solar Orbiter before Venus flyby", , , , , , Solar research,   

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU): “Coronal mass ejection hits Solar Orbiter before Venus flyby” 

    ESA Space For Europe Banner

    European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)

    From The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)

    9.5.22

    In brief

    In the early hours of Sunday 4 September, Solar Orbiter [below] flew by Venus for a gravity-assist maneuver that alters the spacecraft’s orbit, getting it even closer to the Sun. As if trying to get the orbiter’s attention as it cozied up to another body in the Solar System, the Sun flung an enormous coronal mass ejection straight at the spacecraft and planet just two days before their closest approach – and the data is revealing.

    In-depth

    On 30 Aug, a large coronal mass ejection shot from the Sun in the direction of Venus. Not long later, the storm arrived at the second planet from the Sun. As the data continues to come in from Solar Orbiter, this strike reveals why in situ monitoring of space weather and its effects on the bodies, and spacecraft, of the Solar System are so important.

    2
    1.22.20
    Artist’s impression of Solar Orbiter making a flyby at Venus.

    Solar Orbiter will make numerous gravity assist flybys of Venus (and one of Earth) over the course of its mission to adjust its orbit, bringing it closer to the Sun and also out of the plane of the Solar System to observe the Sun from progressively higher inclinations. This will result in the spacecraft being able to take the first ever images of the Sun’s polar regions, crucial for understanding how the Sun ‘works’.

    Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA. Its mission is to perform unprecedented close-up observations of the Sun and from high-latitudes, providing the first images of the uncharted polar regions of the Sun, and investigating the Sun-Earth connection. It is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA in February 2020. © ESA/ATG medialab.

    Fortunately, there were no negative effects on the spacecraft as the ESA-NASA solar observatory is designed to withstand and in fact measure violent outbursts from our star – although Venus doesn’t always get off so lightly. Coronal mass ejections have a tendency of eroding Venus’ atmosphere, stripping off gasses as they whoosh by.

    Fly high with Venus fly by

    Solar Orbiter is a quarter of the way through its decade-long mission to observe the Sun up close and get a look at its mysterious poles. Its orbit was chosen to be in close resonance with Venus, meaning it returns to the planet’s vicinity every few orbits to use its gravity to alter or tilt its orbit.


    Solar Orbiter’s journey around the Sun.
    10.17.19
    So far, Solar Orbiter has been confined to the same plane as the planets, but from February 2025 onwards, each encounter with Venus will increase its orbital inclination, causing it to ‘leap’ up from the plane of the Solar System to get a view of the Sun’s mysterious polar regions.

    Animation showing the trajectory of Solar Orbiter around the Sun, highlighting the gravity assist maneuvers that will enable the spacecraft to change inclination to observe the Sun from different perspectives.

    During the initial cruise phase, which lasts until November 2021, Solar Orbiter will perform two gravity-assist mano0uvres around Venus and one around Earth to alter the spacecraft’s trajectory, guiding it towards the innermost regions of the Solar System. At the same time, Solar Orbiter will acquire in situ data and characterize and calibrate its remote-sensing instruments. The first close solar pass will take place in 2022 at around a third of Earth’s distance from the Sun.

    The spacecraft’s orbit has been chosen to be ‘in resonance’ with Venus, which means that it will return to the planet’s vicinity every few orbits and can again use the planet’s gravity to alter or tilt its orbit. Initially Solar Orbiter will be confined to the same plane as the planets, but each encounter of Venus will increase its orbital inclination. For example, after the 2025 Venus encounter it will make its first solar pass at 17º inclination, increasing to 33º during a proposed mission extension phase, bringing even more of the polar regions into direct view. © ESA/ATG medialab.

    This third flyby of Venus took place on Sunday at 01:26 UTC, when Solar Orbiter passed 12 500 km from the planet’s centre, which is very roughly 6 000 km from its gassy ‘surface’. In other words, it passed a distance half the width of Earth.

    Its distance from Venus, angle of approach and velocity were meticulously planned to get the exact desired effect from the planet’s large gravitational pull – getting it closer to the Sun than ever before.

    “The close approach went exactly to plan, thanks to a great deal of planning from our colleagues in Flight Dynamics and the diligent care of the Flight Control Team”, explains Jose-Luis Pellon-Bailon, Solar Orbiter Operations Manager.

    “By trading ‘orbital energy’ with Venus, Solar Orbiter has used the planet’s gravity to change its orbit without the need for masses of expensive fuel. When it returns to the Sun, the spacecraft’s closest approach will be about 4.5 million km closer than before.”

    Understanding particles that pose a radiation risk

    Data beamed home since Solar Orbiter encountered the solar storm shows how its local environment changed as the large CME swept by. While some instruments had to be turned off during its close approach to Venus, in order to protect them from stray sunlight reflected off of the planet’s surface, Solar Orbiter’s ‘in situ’ instruments remained on, recording among other things an increase in solar energetic particles.

    Particles, mostly protons and electrons, but also some ionised atoms like Helium, are emitted by the Sun all the time. When particularly large flares and ejections of plasma are shot from the Sun, these particles are picked up and carried with them, accelerated to near relativistic speeds. It is these particles that pose a radiation risk to astronauts and spacecraft.

    Improving our understanding of CMEs and tracking their progress as they breeze through the Solar System is a big part of Solar Orbiter’s mission. By observing CMEs, the solar wind and the Sun’s magnetic field, the spacecraft’s ten science instruments are providing new insight into how the 11-year cycle of solar activity works. Ultimately, these findings will help us better predict periods of stormy space weather and protect planet Earth from the Sun’s violent outbursts.

    Goodbye, halo?

    This recent CME illustrates a difficulty in space weather observations. As seen in this footage from SOHO, a ‘full halo’ is visible when a CME is either coming straight at Earth, or in this case heading directly away, from the ‘far side’ of the Sun.

    Determining if coronal mass ejections are coming towards Earth or away is tricky when viewed from Earth, because in both cases it appears to be expanding. One of the many benefits of the coming ESA Vigil mission is that by combining the images taken from Earth direction and Vigil’s position at the ‘side’ of the Sun, the fifth Lagrange point, distinguishing between an oncoming or departing storm will be easy and reliable.

    Space weather gets deep

    The Sun exerts its influence on all the bodies of the Solar System. It’s the reason why no life could survive on the inner planets, the temperatures being too hot and their atmospheres having been stripped away long ago.

    As we venture from Earth to the Moon, its vital we understand how space weather can affect human bodies, robots, communication systems and plants and animals.

    4
    Solar Orbiter’s stellar views hint at Vigil’s future.

    As well as a range of tools to understand the Sun’s effect on Earth infrastructure, ESA’s Space Weather Service Network currently alerts teams flying missions throughout the Solar System of extreme space weather, with forecasts for Mercury, Venus and Mars freely available via the Network’s Portal, and Jupiter on the way.

    5
    Space weather effects. Credit: ESA.

    “Gathering data on events like this is crucial to understanding how they arise, improving our space weather models, forecasts and early-warning systems,” explains Alexi Glover, ESA Space Weather Service Coordinator.

    “Solar Orbiter is providing us with an excellent opportunity to compare our forecasts with real observations and test how well our models and tools perform for these regions”.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the
    European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

    ESA’s space flight programme includes human spaceflight (mainly through participation in the International Space Station program); the launch and operation of uncrewed exploration missions to other planets and the Moon; Earth observation, science and telecommunication; designing launch vehicles; and maintaining a major spaceport, the The Guiana Space Centre [Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG also called Europe’s Spaceport) at Kourou, French Guiana. The main European launch vehicle Ariane 5 is operated through Arianespace with ESA sharing in the costs of launching and further developing this launch vehicle. The agency is also working with The National Aeronautics and Space Agency to manufacture the Orion Spacecraft service module that will fly on the Space Launch System.

    The agency’s facilities are distributed among the following centres:

    ESA European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) (NL) in Noordwijk, Netherlands;
    ESA Centre for Earth Observation [ESRIN] (IT) in Frascati, Italy;
    ESA Mission Control ESA European Space Operations Center [ESOC](DE) is in Darmstadt, Germany;
    ESA -European Astronaut Centre [EAC] trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany;
    European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) (UK), a research institute created in 2009, is located in Harwell, England;
    ESA – European Space Astronomy Centre [ESAC] (ES) is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain.
    European Space Agency Science Programme is a long-term programme of space science and space exploration missions.

    Foundation

    After World War II, many European scientists left Western Europe in order to work with the United States. Although the 1950s boom made it possible for Western European countries to invest in research and specifically in space-related activities, Western European scientists realized solely national projects would not be able to compete with the two main superpowers. In 1958, only months after the Sputnik shock, Edoardo Amaldi (Italy) and Pierre Auger (France), two prominent members of the Western European scientific community, met to discuss the foundation of a common Western European space agency. The meeting was attended by scientific representatives from eight countries, including Harrie Massey (United Kingdom).

    The Western European nations decided to have two agencies: one concerned with developing a launch system, ELDO (European Launch Development Organization) , and the other the precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) . The latter was established on 20 March 1964 by an agreement signed on 14 June 1962. From 1968 to 1972, ESRO launched seven research satellites.

    ESA in its current form was founded with the ESA Convention in 1975, when ESRO was merged with ELDO. ESA had ten founding member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. These signed the ESA Convention in 1975 and deposited the instruments of ratification by 1980, when the convention came into force. During this interval the agency functioned in a de facto fashion. ESA launched its first major scientific mission in 1975, Cos-B, a space probe monitoring gamma-ray emissions in the universe, which was first worked on by ESRO.

    ESA50 Logo large

    Later activities

    ESA collaborated with National Aeronautics Space Agency on the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), the world’s first high-orbit telescope, which was launched in 1978 and operated successfully for 18 years.

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration Solar Orbiter annotated.

    A number of successful Earth-orbit projects followed, and in 1986 ESA began Giotto, its first deep-space mission, to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

    ESA/Huygens Probe from Cassini landed on Titan.

    As the successor of ELDO, ESA has also constructed rockets for scientific and commercial payloads. Ariane 1, launched in 1979, carried mostly commercial payloads into orbit from 1984 onward. The next two versions of the Ariane rocket were intermediate stages in the development of a more advanced launch system, the Ariane 4, which operated between 1988 and 2003 and established ESA as the world leader in commercial space launches in the 1990s. Although the succeeding Ariane 5 experienced a failure on its first flight, it has since firmly established itself within the heavily competitive commercial space launch market with 82 successful launches until 2018. The successor launch vehicle of Ariane 5, the Ariane 6, is under development and is envisioned to enter service in the 2020s.

    The beginning of the new millennium saw ESA become, along with agencies like National Aeronautics Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JP), Indian Space Research Organization (IN), the Canadian Space Agency(CA) and Roscosmos (RU), one of the major participants in scientific space research. Although ESA had relied on co-operation with NASA in previous decades, especially the 1990s, changed circumstances (such as tough legal restrictions on information sharing by the United States military) led to decisions to rely more on itself and on co-operation with Russia. A 2011 press issue thus stated:

    “Russia is ESA’s first partner in its efforts to ensure long-term access to space. There is a framework agreement between ESA and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation and partnership in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and cooperation is already underway in two different areas of launcher activity that will bring benefits to both partners.”

    Notable ESA programs include SMART-1, a probe testing cutting-edge space propulsion technology, the Mars Express and Venus Express missions, as well as the development of the Ariane 5 rocket and its role in the ISS partnership. ESA maintains its scientific and research projects mainly for astronomy-space missions such as Corot, launched on 27 December 2006, a milestone in the search for exoplanets.

    On 21 January 2019, ArianeGroup and Arianespace announced a one-year contract with ESA to study and prepare for a mission to mine the Moon for lunar regolith.

    Mission

    The treaty establishing the European Space Agency reads:

    The purpose of the Agency shall be to provide for and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems…

    ESA is responsible for setting a unified space and related industrial policy, recommending space objectives to the member states, and integrating national programs like satellite development, into the European program as much as possible.

    Jean-Jacques Dordain – ESA’s Director General (2003–2015) – outlined the European Space Agency’s mission in a 2003 interview:

    “Today space activities have pursued the benefit of citizens, and citizens are asking for a better quality of life on Earth. They want greater security and economic wealth, but they also want to pursue their dreams, to increase their knowledge, and they want younger people to be attracted to the pursuit of science and technology. I think that space can do all of this: it can produce a higher quality of life, better security, more economic wealth, and also fulfill our citizens’ dreams and thirst for knowledge, and attract the young generation. This is the reason space exploration is an integral part of overall space activities. It has always been so, and it will be even more important in the future.”

    Activities

    According to the ESA website, the activities are:

    Observing the Earth
    Human Spaceflight
    Launchers
    Navigation
    Space Science
    Space Engineering & Technology
    Operations
    Telecommunications & Integrated Applications
    Preparing for the Future
    Space for Climate

    Programs

    Copernicus Programme
    Cosmic Vision
    ExoMars
    FAST20XX
    Galileo
    Horizon 2000
    Living Planet Programme
    Mandatory

    Every member country must contribute to these programs:

    Technology Development Element Program
    Science Core Technology Program
    General Study Program
    European Component Initiative

    Optional

    Depending on their individual choices the countries can contribute to the following programs, listed according to:

    Launchers
    Earth Observation
    Human Spaceflight and Exploration
    Telecommunications
    Navigation
    Space Situational Awareness
    Technology

    ESA_LAB@

    ESA has formed partnerships with universities. ESA_LAB@ refers to research laboratories at universities. Currently there are ESA_LAB@

    Technische Universität Darmstadt (DE)
    École des hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris) (FR)
    Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres (FR)
    The University of Central Lancashire (UK)

    Membership and contribution to ESA

    By 2015, ESA was an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states. Member states participate to varying degrees in the mandatory (25% of total expenditures in 2008) and optional space programs (75% of total expenditures in 2008). The 2008 budget amounted to €3.0 billion whilst the 2009 budget amounted to €3.6 billion. The total budget amounted to about €3.7 billion in 2010, €3.99 billion in 2011, €4.02 billion in 2012, €4.28 billion in 2013, €4.10 billion in 2014 and €4.33 billion in 2015. English is the main language within ESA. Additionally, official documents are also provided in German and documents regarding the Spacelab are also provided in Italian. If found appropriate, the agency may conduct its correspondence in any language of a member state.

    Non-full member states
    Slovenia
    Since 2016, Slovenia has been an associated member of the ESA.

    Latvia
    Latvia became the second current associated member on 30 June 2020, when the Association Agreement was signed by ESA Director Jan Wörner and the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ilga Šuplinska in Riga. The Saeima ratified it on July 27. Previously associated members were Austria, Norway and Finland, all of which later joined ESA as full members.

    Canada
    Since 1 January 1979, Canada has had the special status of a Cooperating State within ESA. By virtue of this accord, The Canadian Space Agency [Agence spatiale canadienne, ASC] (CA) takes part in ESA’s deliberative bodies and decision-making and also in ESA’s programs and activities. Canadian firms can bid for and receive contracts to work on programs. The accord has a provision ensuring a fair industrial return to Canada. The most recent Cooperation Agreement was signed on 15 December 2010 with a term extending to 2020. For 2014, Canada’s annual assessed contribution to the ESA general budget was €6,059,449 (CAD$8,559,050). For 2017, Canada has increased its annual contribution to €21,600,000 (CAD$30,000,000).

    Enlargement

    After the decision of the ESA Council of 21/22 March 2001, the procedure for accession of the European states was detailed as described the document titled The Plan for European Co-operating States (PECS). Nations that want to become a full member of ESA do so in 3 stages. First a Cooperation Agreement is signed between the country and ESA. In this stage, the country has very limited financial responsibilities. If a country wants to co-operate more fully with ESA, it signs a European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement. The ECS Agreement makes companies based in the country eligible for participation in ESA procurements. The country can also participate in all ESA programs, except for the Basic Technology Research Programme. While the financial contribution of the country concerned increases, it is still much lower than that of a full member state. The agreement is normally followed by a Plan For European Cooperating State (or PECS Charter). This is a 5-year programme of basic research and development activities aimed at improving the nation’s space industry capacity. At the end of the 5-year period, the country can either begin negotiations to become a full member state or an associated state or sign a new PECS Charter.

    During the Ministerial Meeting in December 2014, ESA ministers approved a resolution calling for discussions to begin with Israel, Australia and South Africa on future association agreements. The ministers noted that “concrete cooperation is at an advanced stage” with these nations and that “prospects for mutual benefits are existing”.

    A separate space exploration strategy resolution calls for further co-operation with the United States, Russia and China on “LEO” exploration, including a continuation of ISS cooperation and the development of a robust plan for the coordinated use of space transportation vehicles and systems for exploration purposes, participation in robotic missions for the exploration of the Moon, the robotic exploration of Mars, leading to a broad Mars Sample Return mission in which Europe should be involved as a full partner, and human missions beyond LEO in the longer term.”

    Relationship with the European Union

    The political perspective of the European Union (EU) was to make ESA an agency of the EU by 2014, although this date was not met. The EU member states provide most of ESA’s funding, and they are all either full ESA members or observers.

    History

    At the time ESA was formed, its main goals did not encompass human space flight; rather it considered itself to be primarily a scientific research organization for uncrewed space exploration in contrast to its American and Soviet counterparts. It is therefore not surprising that the first non-Soviet European in space was not an ESA astronaut on a European space craft; it was Czechoslovak Vladimír Remek who in 1978 became the first non-Soviet or American in space (the first man in space being Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union) – on a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, followed by the Pole Mirosław Hermaszewski and East German Sigmund Jähn in the same year. This Soviet co-operation programme, known as Intercosmos, primarily involved the participation of Eastern bloc countries. In 1982, however, Jean-Loup Chrétien became the first non-Communist Bloc astronaut on a flight to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station.

    Because Chrétien did not officially fly into space as an ESA astronaut, but rather as a member of the French CNES astronaut corps, the German Ulf Merbold is considered the first ESA astronaut to fly into space. He participated in the STS-9 Space Shuttle mission that included the first use of the European-built Spacelab in 1983. STS-9 marked the beginning of an extensive ESA/NASA joint partnership that included dozens of space flights of ESA astronauts in the following years. Some of these missions with Spacelab were fully funded and organizationally and scientifically controlled by ESA (such as two missions by Germany and one by Japan) with European astronauts as full crew members rather than guests on board. Beside paying for Spacelab flights and seats on the shuttles, ESA continued its human space flight co-operation with the Soviet Union and later Russia, including numerous visits to Mir.

    During the latter half of the 1980s, European human space flights changed from being the exception to routine and therefore, in 1990, the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany was established. It selects and trains prospective astronauts and is responsible for the co-ordination with international partners, especially with regard to the International Space Station. As of 2006, the ESA astronaut corps officially included twelve members, including nationals from most large European countries except the United Kingdom.

    In the summer of 2008, ESA started to recruit new astronauts so that final selection would be due in spring 2009. Almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates before registration ended in June 2008. 8,413 fulfilled the initial application criteria. Of the applicants, 918 were chosen to take part in the first stage of psychological testing, which narrowed down the field to 192. After two-stage psychological tests and medical evaluation in early 2009, as well as formal interviews, six new members of the European Astronaut Corps were selected – five men and one woman.

    Cooperation with other countries and organizations

    ESA has signed co-operation agreements with the following states that currently neither plan to integrate as tightly with ESA institutions as Canada, nor envision future membership of ESA: Argentina, Brazil, China, India (for the Chandrayan mission), Russia and Turkey.

    Additionally, ESA has joint projects with the European Union, NASA of the United States and is participating in the International Space Station together with the United States (NASA), Russia and Japan (JAXA).

    European Union
    ESA and EU member states
    ESA-only members
    EU-only members

    ESA is not an agency or body of the European Union (EU), and has non-EU countries (Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) as members. There are however ties between the two, with various agreements in place and being worked on, to define the legal status of ESA with regard to the EU.

    There are common goals between ESA and the EU. ESA has an EU liaison office in Brussels. On certain projects, the EU and ESA co-operate, such as the upcoming Galileo satellite navigation system. Space policy has since December 2009 been an area for voting in the European Council. Under the European Space Policy of 2007, the EU, ESA and its Member States committed themselves to increasing co-ordination of their activities and programs and to organizing their respective roles relating to space.

    The Lisbon Treaty of 2009 reinforces the case for space in Europe and strengthens the role of ESA as an R&D space agency. Article 189 of the Treaty gives the EU a mandate to elaborate a European space policy and take related measures, and provides that the EU should establish appropriate relations with ESA.

    Former Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, during his tenure as a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009, stressed the importance of the European Union as a driving force for space exploration, “…since other players are coming up such as India and China it is becoming ever more important that Europeans can have an independent access to space. We have to invest more into space research and technology in order to have an industry capable of competing with other international players.”

    The first EU-ESA International Conference on Human Space Exploration took place in Prague on 22 and 23 October 2009. A road map which would lead to a common vision and strategic planning in the area of space exploration was discussed. Ministers from all 29 EU and ESA members as well as members of parliament were in attendance.

    National space organizations of member states:

    The Centre National d’Études Spatiales(FR) (CNES) (National Centre for Space Study) is the French government space agency (administratively, a “public establishment of industrial and commercial character”). Its headquarters are in central Paris. CNES is the main participant on the Ariane project. Indeed, CNES designed and tested all Ariane family rockets (mainly from its centre in Évry near Paris)
    The UK Space Agency is a partnership of the UK government departments which are active in space. Through the UK Space Agency, the partners provide delegates to represent the UK on the various ESA governing bodies. Each partner funds its own programme.
    The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. – Agenzia Spaziale Italiana was founded in 1988 to promote, co-ordinate and conduct space activities in Italy. Operating under the Ministry of the Universities and of Scientific and Technological Research, the agency cooperates with numerous entities active in space technology and with the president of the Council of Ministers. Internationally, the ASI provides Italy’s delegation to the Council of the European Space Agency and to its subordinate bodies.
    The German Aerospace Center (DLR)[Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V.] is the national research centre for aviation and space flight of the Federal Republic of Germany and of other member states in the Helmholtz Association. Its extensive research and development projects are included in national and international cooperative programs. In addition to its research projects, the centre is the assigned space agency of Germany bestowing headquarters of German space flight activities and its associates.
    The Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA)(ES) (National Institute for Aerospace Technique) is a Public Research Organization specialized in aerospace research and technology development in Spain. Among other functions, it serves as a platform for space research and acts as a significant testing facility for the aeronautic and space sector in the country.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency

    ESA has a long history of collaboration with NASA. Since ESA’s astronaut corps was formed, the Space Shuttle has been the primary launch vehicle used by ESA’s astronauts to get into space through partnership programs with NASA. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Spacelab programme was an ESA-NASA joint research programme that had ESA develop and manufacture orbital labs for the Space Shuttle for several flights on which ESA participate with astronauts in experiments.

    In robotic science mission and exploration missions, NASA has been ESA’s main partner. Cassini–Huygens was a joint NASA-ESA mission, along with the Infrared Space Observatory, INTEGRAL, SOHO, and others.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Integral spacecraft

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization] (EU)/National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationSOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    Also, the Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project of NASA and ESA.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency[La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU) Hubble Space Telescope

    ESA-NASA joint projects include the James Webb Space Telescope and the proposed Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne] [Europäische Weltraumorganization]Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Space Telescope annotated. Scheduled for launch in December 2021.

    Gravity is talking. Lisa will listen. Dialogos of Eide.

    The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration eLISA space based, the future of gravitational wave research.

    NASA has committed to provide support to ESA’s proposed MarcoPolo-R mission to return an asteroid sample to Earth for further analysis. NASA and ESA will also likely join together for a Mars Sample Return Mission. In October 2020 the ESA entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NASA to work together on the Artemis program, which will provide an orbiting lunar gateway and also accomplish the first manned lunar landing in 50 years, whose team will include the first woman on the Moon.

    NASA ARTEMIS spacecraft depiction.

    Cooperation with other space agencies

    Since China has started to invest more money into space activities, the Chinese Space Agency[中国国家航天局] (CN) has sought international partnerships. ESA is, beside, The Russian Federal Space Agency Государственная корпорация по космической деятельности «Роскосмос»](RU) one of its most important partners. Two space agencies cooperated in the development of the Double Star Mission. In 2017, ESA sent two astronauts to China for two weeks sea survival training with Chinese astronauts in Yantai, Shandong.

    ESA entered into a major joint venture with Russia in the form of the CSTS, the preparation of French Guiana spaceport for launches of Soyuz-2 rockets and other projects. With India, ESA agreed to send instruments into space aboard the ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 in 2008. ESA is also co-operating with Japan, the most notable current project in collaboration with JAXA is the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency [国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構](JP) Bepicolumbo in flight illustration. Artist’s impression of BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury. ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    ESA’s Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) will be operated from ESOC Germany.

    Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow in August 2011, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia’s Roskosmos space agency would “carry out the first flight to Mars together.”

     
  • richardmitnick 11:13 am on September 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Solar physicists build a 2D model which can explain the bright points in the solar corona", , , , , , , Solar research   

    From IAC-The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES): “Solar physicists build a 2D model which can explain the bright points in the solar corona” 

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía

    From IAC-The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES)

    9.1.22
    Daniel Nóbrega Siverio
    dnobrega@iac.es

    Fernando Moreno Insertis
    fmi@iac.es

    1
    A numerical experiment conducted by two researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Daniel Nöbrega Siverio and Fernando Moreno Insertis, has allowed them to show, for the first time, how one of the most widely distributed structures in the solar atmosphere, the coronal bright points, can form and acquire energy by the action of the solar granulation.

    When the Sun is observed from space detectors of X-rays or the extreme-ultraviolet, its atmosphere is found to be full of bright points, both during solar active epochs when a large number of sunspots is observed, and during quieter epochs. When they are inspected in detail we find that these coronal bright points (CBP) comprise a set of magnetic arcs, which emit huge quantities of energy por periods of hours or even days, probably via a process known as magnetic recombination.

    Until now the models of CBPs were highly simplified and did not take into account critical aspects of solar physics ,such as the supply of energy to magnetic structures by solar granules.

    In a study recently published in the prestigious journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below] Daniel Nóbrega Siverio and Fernando Moreno Insertis, astrophysicists at the IAC, have studied these bright points, using a latest generation numerical code, the Bifrost code. This code allows one to model the Sun with the realism needed to include convective and radiative processes which have a fundamental influence on the heating of the solar atmosphere.

    With their model, these researchers show for the first time that the action of the solar granulation on a magnetic structure of the type expected to be found in many CBP gives rise to hot, bright arches, which explains the different features observed during solar space missions for decades. The article also includes predictions of what the cool zones below a CBP are like,and their small scale structure which has not yet been tackled observationally,and which will need data of extremely high resolution, such as those from the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) on La Palma [below], the the recent Solar Orbiter space mission in order to confirm them.

    This study has needed thousands of hours of calculations on two of the most advanced supercomputer facilities in Europe, Betzy (in Norway) and MareNostrum (in Spain). It has been carried out within the Whole Sun project, a programme funded by the European Research Council, in which the IAC is taking part, along with four other European institutions.

    2
    Betzy ATOS supercomputer. HPC Wire.

    3
    MareNostrum 4 supercomputer at Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    IAC-The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES) operates two astronomical observatories in the Canary Islands:

    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma
    Teide Observatory on Tenerife.

    The Instituto de Astrofísica the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).

    Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos at La Palma (ES) at an altitude of 2400m.

    The seeing statistics at ORM make it the second-best location for optical and infrared astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere, after Mauna Kea Observatory Hawai’i.

    Maunakea Observatories Hawai’i altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    The site also has some of the most extensive astronomical facilities in the Northern Hemisphere; its fleet of telescopes includes the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope as of July 2009; the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (IT) (ES) a 3.58-meter Italian telescope; the William Herschel Telescope (second largest in Europe), and the adaptive optics corrected Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope.

    Gran Telescopio Canarias [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias ](ES) sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level.


    Isaac Newton Group 4.2 meter William Herschel Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands(ES), 2,396 m (7,861 ft).

    The Swedish 1m Solar Telescope SST at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory on La Palma Spain, Altitude 2,360 m (7,740 ft).

    The observatory was established in 1985, after 15 years of international work and cooperation of several countries with the Spanish island hosting many telescopes from Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, and other countries. The island provided better seeing conditions for the telescopes that had been moved to Herstmonceux by the Royal Greenwich Observatory, including the 98 inch aperture Isaac Newton Telescope (the largest reflector in Europe at that time). When it was moved to the island it was upgraded to a 100-inch (2.54 meter), and many even larger telescopes from various nations would be hosted there.

    Tiede Observatory, Tenerife, Canary Islands (ES)

    Teide Observatory [Observatorio del Teide], IAU code 954, is an astronomical observatory on Mount Teide at 2,390 metres (7,840 ft), located on Tenerife, Spain. It has been operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias since its inauguration in 1964. It became one of the first major international observatories, attracting telescopes from different countries around the world because of the good astronomical seeing conditions. Later the emphasis for optical telescopes shifted more towards Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:28 pm on August 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Can Machine Learning Warn Us of Approaching Geomagnetic Storms?", , , , , , Solar research   

    From AAS NOVA: “Can Machine Learning Warn Us of Approaching Geomagnetic Storms?” 

    AASNOVA

    From AAS NOVA

    8.24.22
    Kerry Hensley

    1
    This view of the swirling green aurora was captured from the International Space Station. [NASA]

    Geomagnetic storms — disturbances in Earth’s protective magnetic shield caused by oncoming solar particles — can have real-world consequences. A recent research article explores how machine learning can be used to create an early warning system for these events.

    Geomagnetic Storms on the Horizon

    1
    A white-light image of a coronal mass ejection taken by the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph. An extreme-ultraviolet image of the Sun is placed at the Sun’s location. [SOHO/LASCO, SOHO/EIT (ESA & NASA)]

    2
    SOHO Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph. Credit: NASA/ESA

    A spacecraft at a distant vantage point glimpses a tangled mass of plasma and magnetic fields emerging from the Sun — a coronal mass ejection — headed our way. It’ll be hours or days before the coronal mass ejection collides with Earth, potentially disrupting radio communications, damaging spacecraft electronics, and threatening power grids. How can we predict if a coronal mass ejection will cause these disastrous consequences?

    In a recent publication, a team led by Andreea-Clara Pricopi (Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania) tested the ability of machine learning to predict whether a coronal mass ejection will disrupt Earth’s magnetic shield.

    This technique may provide a way to anticipate geomagnetic storms days in advance.

    An Expansive Sample

    Machine learning is a relatively new technique in which computers are trained on a set of inputs with known outcomes. The trained computer can then predict the outcomes of a fresh set of inputs.

    Pricopi and collaborators took as inputs the speed, angle, and acceleration of coronal mass ejections identified in white-light images, as well as a measure of the overall solar flare activity. The corresponding output is a measure of how disrupted Earth’s magnetic field became, known as the disturbance storm time index. The team trained the model on these inputs and outputs for a subset of 24,403 coronal mass ejections observed between 1996 and 2014, 172 (0.7%) of which caused geomagnetic storms.

    3
    Artist’s impression of solar particles interacting with Earth’s protective magnetic shield, or magnetosphere, causing a geomagnetic storm. [NASA]

    Because so few of the coronal mass ejections in the sample caused geomagnetic storms, Pricopi and collaborators had to be careful about assessing the model’s performance — after all, a model that simply labeled all 24,403 events as not causing a storm would be 99.3% accurate, but it would be useless as a predictor of geomagnetic storms! The team also wanted to be sure that their model correctly predicted all or most storms, even at the risk of false alarms, since the consequences of failing to prepare for a damaging geomagnetic storm are worse than preparing for a storm that never comes.

    Prioritizing Powerful Events

    Pricopi and coauthors trained their models on 80% of the data set, reserving the remaining 20% for testing the models’ performance. In order to push the models to prioritize finding geomagnetic storms, the team tested several strategies, including penalizing models that misclassified these events and creating synthetic storms based on real data to bulk up the sample size.

    The best model correctly predicted about 80% of storms. The storms overlooked by the model tended to have poor quality data, and false alarms were most common for certain types of coronal mass ejections, giving clues as to how the model might be improved in the future.

    These results show that machine learning can be used to predict geomagnetic storms days in advance using a limited number of inputs. However, the authors acknowledge that models that incorporate data from later in a coronal mass ejection’s evolution are more accurate. This suggests that the technique described in this work could be used to flag potentially damaging events, passing them to more precise models to get more information and improve our ability to prepare for an oncoming storm.

    Citation

    Predicting the Geoeffectiveness of CMEs Using Machine Learning, Andreea-Clara Pricopi et al 2022 ApJ 934 176.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac7962/pdf

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    1

    AAS Mission and Vision Statement

    The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

    The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
    The Society facilitates and strengthens the interactions among members through professional meetings and other means. The Society supports member divisions representing specialized research and astronomical interests.
    The Society represents the goals of its community of members to the nation and the world. The Society also works with other scientific and educational societies to promote the advancement of science.
    The Society, through its members, trains, mentors and supports the next generation of astronomers. The Society supports and promotes increased participation of historically underrepresented groups in astronomy.
    The Society assists its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels. The Society promotes broad interest in astronomy, which enhances science literacy and leads many to careers in science and engineering.

    Adopted June 7, 2009

    The society was founded in 1899 through the efforts of George Ellery Hale. The constitution of the group was written by Hale, George Comstock, Edward Morley, Simon Newcomb and Edward Charles Pickering. These men, plus four others, were the first Executive Council of the society; Newcomb was the first president. The initial membership was 114. The AAS name of the society was not finally decided until 1915, previously it was the “Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America”. One proposed name that preceded this interim name was “American Astrophysical Society”.

    The AAS today has over 7,000 members and six divisions – the Division for Planetary Sciences (1968); the Division on Dynamical Astronomy (1969); the High Energy Astrophysics Division (1969); the Solar Physics Division (1969); the Historical Astronomy Division (1980); and the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (2012). The membership includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy.

    In 2019 three AAS members were selected into the tenth anniversary class of TED Fellows.

    The AAS established the AAS Fellows program in 2019 to “confer recognition upon AAS members for achievement and extraordinary service to the field of astronomy and the American Astronomical Society.” The inaugural class was designated by the AAS Board of Trustees and includes an initial group of 232 Legacy Fellows.

     
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