Kennedy Space Center Weather: Facts about Space Weather and Its Influence
Space weather centers, such as the Kennedy Space Center weather, are designed to monitor the weather in space and assess the risks and weather situation for humanity. What is the space weather, you may ask? Let’s find out!
Space Weather Prediction Center: What For?
Space weather is the state of the near-Earth space and upper atmosphere at any given time interval, which is determined by active phenomena on the Sun.Changing conditions on the surface of the Sun, the flow (intensity) of the solar wind, leads to changes in the magnetosphere and ionosphere, which may affect the operation and reliability of onboard and ground technological systems, as well as threaten the life and health of people. Monitoring, assessing, and spreading information about these changes is the main responsibility of all space weather centers.
The term “space weather” came into widespread use in the 1990s as covering the most important aspects of solar-terrestrial science. The section of scientific knowledge called solar-terrestrial relations is devoted to the study of all possible interactions between heliophysics and geophysical phenomena at different NOAA space weather scales. This science lies at the junction of solar physics, solar system, and geophysics.
It is also the basis for studies of the effects of solar variability and solar activity through the interplanetary medium on the Earth. In particular, on the magnetosphere, ionosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth. In a strictly scientific sense, space weather refers to the dynamic (with characteristic times of a day or less) part of the solar-terrestrial relationship, and by analogy with Earth processes, the more stationary part is often called “Space Climate”. In a practical sense, space weather topics include, for example, issues of forecasting solar and geomagnetic activity, studies of the impact of solar factors on technical systems (radio interference, radiation environment, etc.), impacts on biological systems and humans. Countries started to create space weather centers, and nowadays, we have plenty of such centers in the USA, for instance, the Chabot Space and Science Center of weather.
Why the “weather”? One of the reasons has a purely external nature. Near-Earth space has its storms (magnetic and ionospheric), clouds (silvery, or mesospheric), wind, sun and even rain.All possible weathers are there. Along with these purely external parallels, there are deeper reasons to talk about the weather in space. The fact is that the strong variability of conditions in near-Earth space is akin to weather “vagaries”. Scientists at the space weather prediction center monitor the changes and make evaluations about their impact on the Earth. As well, space weather prediction centers study Aurora Borealis (Northern lights).
As NOAA space weather center stated in their report, the weather in space, like the weather in the usual sense of the word, is characterized by the alternation of calm periods. For example, there are periods of a minimum cycle of solar activity, which can be compared with stable weather in a good summer. Periods of abrupt change (e.g., during high solar activity), which bring to mind an analogy with unstable fall weather. The impermanence of weather phenomena in near-Earth space is akin to Earth’s: no two days are the same there. Just as a gloomy, rainy November day differs from a sunny day in May, so can two days be different in terms of space weather.
Space Weather Prediction and Its Influence
Weather conditions associated with both space and terrestrial weather represent a multifactorial impact on biological objects and the human body. At the same time, the reaction of the organism depends on its magneto-sensitivity and whether sensitivity, which has different individual thresholds during life. With the extremely low-energy impact of space weather factors compared to terrestrial weather factors (temperature, pressure, etc.) heliogeophysical factors affect organisms indirectly. Typical targets of geomagnetic and meteorological effects are the circulatory system, cardiovascular system, vegetative nervous system, lungs.
It should be noted that the forecast issued, for example, by the weather Chabot space and science center and their prevention of the effects of space and terrestrial weather should be targeted and addressed mainly to specialists working with risk groups. This is done in order not to cause excessive agitation and false stress in susceptible, but not magneto sensitive people, and the use of preventive and therapeutic means by those who do not need them.
The Main U.S. Weather Space Centers
- The John Stennis Space Center weather is NASA’s largest rocket engine test facility. It is located in Hancock County, Mississippi, near the Louisiana border. Being the main NASA NWS space weather prediction center, all the space launches are consulted and discussed with them.
- NOAA Space Weather prediction center is a laboratory located in Boulder, Colorado.It is also a service center of the U.S. National Weather Service, which in turn is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This space weather NOAA laboratory conducts continuous in-depth monitoring and forecasting of space weather. It is also tasked with informing about the solar-terrestrial situation. For the United States, NOAA space weather forecasts are the official source and only NOAA space weather alerts are taken into consideration. We found for you the prediction of NOAA space weather for now: today, all is quiet in space. There are no solar flares, the solar wind is normal, the magnetosphere is not disturbed in any way, and energetic charged particles are “locked” in their radiation belts. It is quiet in the surface magnetic field and the ionosphere as well.
- Weather forecast Kennedy Space Center, Florida is a complex of facilities for space launch and mission control (spaceport) owned by NASA and located on Merritt Island, Florida, USA. As of early 2021, the center employs a total of 14,700 people. The weather in Kennedy Space Center in Florida is monitored by almost 4,000 specialists. It has its official website, where the Kennedy Space Center weather forecast for 10 days is posted together with other scientific articles.
How to Predict the Weather for Kennedy Space Center?
At present, no accurate mathematical models are describing solar-terrestrial physics processes. Therefore, the forecasts of almost all space centers for weather prediction are based on phenomenological, probabilistic models, i.e. models describing a sequence of physical phenomena.
Each step of such models can be carried out with some probability less than 100%, and the probability of realization of the complete chain can be below the threshold when it can be considered in practice. The 27-45-day, 7-day, 2-day, and 1-hour forecasts are used. Each of these types of forecasts uses the difference in the electromagnetic signal rate and the rate of propagation of the disturbance, and relies on remote observation of the phenomenon on the Sun or a local measurement near the Earth.