Conditions in space caused by the Sun
Activity on the Sun’s surface, the photosphere, its inner atmosphere, the chromosphere, and in its hot outer atmosphere, the corona, ejects gas and particles into space, carried away at high speeds by the solar wind. The effects of these particles on Earth and the rest of the solar system is known as Space Weather.
The Earth is protected from the solar wind by its surrounding magnetic field, the magnetosphere and the Van Allen radiation belts. At its prettiest, the solar particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere to create the aurorae. However, when solar activity is more violent, the solar wind is stronger and solar flares or coronal mass ejections can occur, firing vast numbers of highly energetic particles into space. These larger solar events can damage satellites and disrupt power grids. Astronomers keep an eye on solar activity and space weather to be prepared for all eventualities.
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