YOU ARE HERE: Home > News & Press > News archive > News 2014

I want information on:

Information for:

NEWS ARCHIVE

Public consultation on space weather - how should we prepare?

A public consultation on space weather, an area of interest to many RAS Fellows, is currently under way.

Pylon SunSpace weather caused by solar activity can impact on power grids here on Earth. Credit: K. Turnbull / J. Wild / ESASpace weather is caused by natural processes which affect the conditions in nearby space and the Earth's upper atmosphere - including solar flares, coronal mass ejections etc. Much like normal weather, space weather is usually changeable but harmless, however occasionally extreme events occur which may be highly disruptive.

Activities which can be affected by space weather include power grids, satellite operations, aircraft navigation, radio communication systems (including mobile phones), electric railways, GPS navigation etc.

The space weather public dialogue aims to find out what the public think about space weather and its possible impacts here on Earth. The RAS has been supporting this project, with staff and Fellows supplying expert advice on the issue and the approach to engaging the public. We encourage any interested parties to engage with the consultation.

The consultation aims to answer the following key questions:

  • What is the best way to communicate with people about space weather and its potential impacts?
  • How might we prepare for such an event?
  • Who does what if such an event happens?
  • What do we prioritise?

Anyone who wishes to contribute can familiarise themselves with the background information, learn about the consultation, and take the survey to submit their evidence.

llama magnetic fields smallIllustration of how material ejected from the Sun (on the left) can interact with the magnetic field of the Earth (on the right), causing space weather. The blue lines surrounding the Earth represent its magnetic field. Credit: NASA. Click for a larger image

The consultation is run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Space (RAL Space), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the National Grid, Lloyd's insurance market, and Sciencewise national public dialogue centre.

LAST_UPDATED2
 
White dwarfs crashing into neutron stars explain the loneliest supernovae
A research team led by astronomers and astrophysicists at the University of Warwick have found that some of the Universe’s loneliest supernovae are likely created by... More
Last updated on Friday, 08 August 2014 12:52
Published on Friday, 08 August 2014 10:01
 
Planet-like object may have spent its youth as hot as a star
Astronomers have discovered an extremely cool object that could have a particularly diverse history - although it is now as cool as a planet, it may have spent much of... More
Last updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 14:24
Published on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 13:00
 
Astronomers find stream of gas – 2.6 million light years long
Astronomers and students have found a bridge of atomic hydrogen gas 2.6 million light years long between galaxies 500 million light years away. They detected the gas... More
Last updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 14:22
Published on Thursday, 07 August 2014 13:00
 
Winners of the RAS thesis prizes
The RAS is pleased to announce the winners of its prizes for the best PhD theses completed in the UK during 2013. Two prizes are awarded annually: the Michael Penston... More
Last updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 12:38
Published on Friday, 01 August 2014 11:02