NASA to Study the Sun to Learn About Space Weather

NASA is launching two new missions to study the Sun in an attempt to learn more about space weather and its possible effects on the Earth, the Independent reports.

The first mission is a joint mission led by Japan’s space agency JAXA and is known as the Extreme Ultraviolet High-Throughput Spectroscopic Telescope Epsilon Mission, or EUVST. NASA will operate the other mission, the Electrojet Zeeman Imaging Explorer, or EZIE, which will examine “the Sun and Earth as an interconnected system,” according to a press release from the agency.

“Understanding the physics that drive the solar wind and solar explosions — including solar flares and coronal mass ejections — could one day help scientists predict these events, which can impact human technology and explorers in space,” the release continues.

“We are very pleased to add these new missions to the growing fleet of satellites that are studying our Sun-Earth system using an amazing array of unprecedented observational tools,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters, said in a statement. “In addition to my enthusiasm at selecting a pioneering multi-point observatory focused on the auroral electrojets, I am particularly excited to follow up the success of the Yohkoh and Hinode solar science missions with another international collaboration with JAXA and other European partners on EUVST.”

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