Space Weather – Update

Having read the NOAA space weather reports for a while, one thing never changes.  They are SO boring!  For the most part, they boildown to “everything is OK”.  Then once in a while it says something like aircraft in certain regions will experience high levels of radiation.   Most people know commercial aircraft doesn’t fly in those regions very much.

Flight Map

Nothing illustrates that more than a map of global flight paths like this one found on Crude Oil Peak. The people most at risk are astronauts because they are more likely to be exposed and are outside the protection of the earth’s atmosphere.  We just never think about those things, even though we learned them in school, or should have.

But what is most important about the space weather forecasts is that while even in its experimental stages, it works.  The reports cover three to seven day outlooks based on what is observed on the solar disk.  As the technology improves it might become as important as the weather forecasts.  People might even know in advance when to turn off their electronic devices.  It’s going to be interesting to watch this technology develop into something we can use as easily as we use the nightly weather report.

References:

“Flight Disruptions in Europe a Foretaste for Period of Oil Decline.” Weblog post. Crude Oil Peak RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.

“NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center.” NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.