Space weather, oh yeah, there’s weather in space! The sun is usually the source: Solar flares and coronal mass ejections are two examples. Oh, and you’ve probably heard of the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, which yours truly was able to witness.
But, I’m getting a head of myself. That’s toward the end of my interview with Bob Clauer. He’s a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech and part of a team working to improve space weather forecasts. Clauer explains why space weather forecasts are so important and how he’s hoping to improve them in the latest podcast for “Weather or Not.”
A view of the research teams campsite at PG5 during clear conditions. Photo by Zhonghua Xu
From left to right, Zhonghua Xu, Mike Hartinger, and Taikara Peek enjoying Breeane Jackson’s cooking in the Endurance tent (notice Mike’s empty plate!) We ate very well during our trip. Photo by Breeane, “Breezy”, Jackson
The team (left, Mike Hartinger; right, Zhonghua Xu) preparing to hook up instruments at the main pit at PG5. The large wooden box contains batteries that are charged by the solar panels, while the smaller blue box behind it is the electronics box where most of the data is collected and stored for transfer via Iridium modem. Photo by Taikara Peek
The view from the future location of the search coil magnetometer pit (Zhonghua Xu was going to start cutting into the snow with the saw and shoveling out snow blocks) towards camp at PG5. Photo by Mike Hartinger