UK’s new space weather forecasting center opens to public

By on October 22, 2014

Eruptions on the sun caused by magnetic forces, and example of space weather. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO)


Sure, most folks are more concerned about the weather occurring within Earth’s atmosphere than the weather beyond it, but magnetic storms on the surface of the sun could interfere with terrestrial technology. The UK opened its first space weather forecasting center earlier this month in Exeter, Nature reported.

Although the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre opened to the public on Oct. 8, the center has been working around the clock since May. The center will provide warnings about space weather that threatens important infrastructure.

The center was developed after talks with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. agency wanted a complementary operation to support its Space Weather Prediction Center. Both the SWPC and the Met Office run the same models built on identical data, but at offset times.

Image: Eruptions on the sun caused by magnetic forces, and example of space weather. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/SDO)

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