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Using satellite data to study space weather

Banière données satellitaires

What is Earth's magnetosphere?

Earth's magnetic field reaches far out into space and creates a region called the magnetosphere. This region protects our planet by deflecting energetic particles coming from the Sun. It's also home to many dynamic physical processes that follow the magnetic field down to Earth. We see some of these processes as the northern lights.

Scientists use the night sky like a projection screen to measure things like auroras, and to study the source of these phenomena happening out in our magnetosphere. Canada is a unique location to make these observations from the ground, with plenty of accessible land under the auroral oval, the region where auroras can be seen.

Studying space weather

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is supporting 13 Canadian research teams studying space weather. This will help us better understand it and be better equipped to predict and respond to its effects.

Space weather is the phenomenon that causes the northern lights, but can also have adverse effects, such as disrupting radio communications and satellite navigation signals, damaging electrical infrastructure on the ground and satellites in space, and even endangering trans-polar air travel.

In analyzing satellite data from Canadian and international satellites, combined with other tools, researchers will advance scientific knowledge and understanding of the physical processes occurring in geospace (the region of space closest to Earth), the causes of space weather, and its impacts on Earth.

What are researchers doing with satellite data?

$3.2 million over three years

These grants awarded by the Canadian Space Agency result from the Solar-Terrestrial Science Data Analyses Announcement of Opportunity, published in . The CSA is investing a total of $3.2 million over three years in these projects.

The projects will maximize the use and scientific benefits of satellites like Canada's CASSIOPE (ePOP) and the European Space Agency's Swarm constellation.

To find out more about current CSA opportunities, visit the Funding opportunities at the Canadian Space Agency page.

Solar-terrestrial science project summaries

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