Multi-talented satellite can monitor space weather Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency describes how data from the SMOS satellite can help scientists monitor solar activity and space weather.
The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite was launched in 2009 to provide new insights into Earth’s water cycle and climate.
ESA reports that the satellite “has repeatedly surpassed expectations by returning a wide range of unexpected results, often leading to practical applications that improve everyday life.”
In a recent study, experts discovered that what was initially considered to be just noise in the mission’s data can actually be used to monitor solar activity and space weather.
“This research carried out though our Science for Society program is further proof of how versatile the SMOS mission is and how we push the limits of our missions well beyond their main scientific objectives. Here we see a mission designed to observe our planet is also able to observe solar activity,” said Dr. Diego Fernàndez Prieto.
“More work will now be needed to build upon these initial results and create a dedicated retrieval algorithm for the L-band Sun signal and to generate products for solar observations.” The purpose of the US National Space Weather Program is to focus research on the needs of the affected commercial and military communities, to connect the research and user communities, to create coordination between operational data centers and to better define user community needs. Multi-talented satellite can monitor space weather as shown above.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer