Leon Golub, Harvard

Leaving the Earth’s atmosphere was once thought of as entering “empty space”, implying a benign environment other than the absence of an atmosphere. The truth turns out to be entirely different, space being filled with high energy particles and radiation, much of it coming from the Sun, while our safety here on Earth depends largely on our relatively thin atmosphere and our relatively feeble magnetic field. The violent and dynamic nature of this solar influence is collectively known as “Space Weather.” High speed solar wind and solar eruptive events are hazardous to satellites and other assets in space, including astronauts, while extreme events can disrupt our ground-based technologies as well.