US Government Prepares For ‘Space Weather Event’ As NASA Warns “Solar Minimum Is Coming”
A new report and video out from NASA about the upcoming ‘solar minimum’ has been published. The report titled ‘Solar Minimum is Coming’ outlines every 11-years, the sun oscillates from a solar minimum to a maximum. Today, the sun is called “solar minimum,” says Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. “And it’s a regular part of the sunspot cycle”. The sun is heading towards a solar minimum where the sunspot count will be relatively low.
The report goes on to say, “while intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares subside during solar minimum, that doesn’t mean the sun becomes dull. Solar activity simply changes form”. During a solar minimum, we can expect more space weather events called coronal holes.
According to the report, coronal holes are vast regions of the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows streams of solar particles to escape the sun as fast solar wind.
Pesnell says “We see these holes throughout the solar cycle, but during solar minimums, they can last for a long time – six months or more”. Solar particles from coronal holes are then ejected towards earth’s magnetic field causing space weather events.
Space weather refers to the environmental conditions in Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere due to the Sun and the solar wind that can influence the functioning and reliability of spaceborne and ground-based systems and services or endanger property or human health.
Meanwhile, The White House in October 2016 quietly passed through an Executive Order— “Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events”.