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Astronautics Vocabulary : space meteorology

The Astronautics Vocabulary is a glossary of terms that pertain to the science and technology of spaceflight. This alphabetical list can be navigated by clicking on the letters A-Z displayed on this page.

Definition of space meteorology

météorologie spatiale
Scientists talk about space meteorology (or space weather) to describe the unstable conditions in the space environment. Solar flares generate radiation storms and magnetic fluctuations, and propel swarms of powerful energy particles into space. These manifestations form solar winds and travel towards the far reaches of the solar system. When they approach the earth, the solar winds interact in a complex way with the Earth’s magnetic field, producing magnetic storms, terrestrial radiation belts (or Van Allen belts) and polar auroras. Some solar storms can damage satellites, shut down electrical power systems and disrupt satellite navigation systems.
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