Stormy Stars

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Want to know the weather in space? UT Arlington physicists can help. The University is one of 11 members of the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM). “Space weather is becoming increasingly important to our technological and space-based civilization,” says physics professor and CISM co-investigator Ramon Lopez. “The ability to predict space weather events will soon be as important as the ability to predict hurricanes.” Space weather occurs when the energy released by the sun in solar flares and storms produces enormous changes in the near-Earth space environment. Earth’s magnetosphere protects from most of these, but what passes through could still have disastrous effects on electrical grids, GPS, and other technology. Scientists at CISM hope that giving the operators of these systems warning of an impending disruption could minimize damage and cost.

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