Podcast: Will solar activity threaten future space missions?

Solar weather scientist Mathew Owens talks us through what might lay in store for our Sun.

Published: June 14, 2021 at 3:12 pm
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The Sun’s rising and falling pattern of sunspots, known as the solar cycle, has been studied for hundreds of years and now in its 25th Solar Cycle.
 
For the next few years solar activity is expected to grow, peaking around 2024/25.
But such activity leads to an increase in extreme space weather that affects us both here on Earth and those working in orbit around it – satellites and astronauts.
While we stay near Earth, our planet’s magnetic field offers some degree of protection, but NASA is currently planning on sending astronauts further afield to the Moon as part of the Artemis mission.
 
In the latest episode of the Radio Astronomy podcast we talk to solar weather expert Mathew Owens about what dangers these future space farers might face.
 

Listen to more episodes of the Radio Astronomy podcast.

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Authors

Ezzy Pearson is the News Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Her first book about the history of robotic planetary landers is out now from The History Press.

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