This NASA funded, University of Massachusetts at Lowell research will, “Explore how solar storms affect earth’s atmosphere,” according to an article published on the University’s website. The article was written by Edwin L. Aguirre.
Professor Paul Song, Director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Atmospheric Research says, “Predicting space weather is the next frontier in weather forecasting.” Song writes:
“Inclement space weather has increasingly become a threat to modern space technologies and services, such as GPS, shortwave radio and satellite communications.”
Solar storms can interfere with the modern, high powered energy grid that has only been created in this last century on earth. Song continues:
“The high-energy particles produced by these storms can harm the health of spacewalking astronauts as well as airline passengers and crews flying at high altitudes along polar routes. Geomagnetic storms can also create a surge in electrical current, overloading electric power grids and damaging transmission lines and oil pipelines.”