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Muon Spaceweather Telescope for Anisotropies at Greifswald (MuSTAnG)


University of Greifswald

Technical Group

Institute of Physics

SDA objective

Design, development, construction and initial operation of a European muon space weather telescope


Muon Spaceweather Telescope for Anisotropies


Warning messages of hazardeous space weather conditions

Link to Project WebSite

SDA description


The Sun is continuously losing a small fraction of its mass through what is known as the solar wind.
Considerably more mass can be lost at once in what is called a coronal mass ejection (CME). During solar maximum, around three CMEs may be observed per day, down to one per week during solar minimum.
Coronal mass ejections are huge bubbles of gas ejected from the Sun over the course of only a few hours. Each ejection can carry up to 10 billion tons of charged particles into interplanetary space, often reaching speeds of well over 500 or even 2000 km/sec.
The material gets its energy from the magnetic activity at the surface of the Sun as magnetic field lines break free. The charged material (particles) presents, e.g., a hazard for satellites, and can even cause power outages at ground. This is particularly true for CMEs associated with solar flares. Solar flares are intense, temporary releases of energy. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released. They are seen at ground-based and space-based observatories as bright areas on the Sun in optical wavelengths and as bursts of noise at radio frequencies, lasting from few minutes to hours.

MuSTAnG will detect modulations of cosmic ray intensities that are affected by solar activity. In particular, MuSTAnG will be able to monitor giant plasma clouds in real time during their propagation between Sun and Earth.

The MuSTAnG telescope will be part of a global network of similar muon telescopes, located in Australia, Japan and Brazil. Therefore it will be possible to forecast for the first time precisely and with, until now unachievable, advance warning times of up to 24 hours prior to the arrival time of plasma clouds at Earth.

These precise and early warnings of space weather storms allow the potential risks, e.g., interruptions in power supply, positioning errors in satellite navigation, disturbances in telecommunication, radiation exposure of spacecraft and aircraft crew members, failures of aircraft electronics, and other technical effects, to be minimized. MuSTAnG may also support the tourism in the northern regions, as the predictability of polar lights is improved.


MuSTAnG construction

Mustang will consist of 32 muon detectors arranged in two (top and bottom) layers. Each detector will consist of a scintillator plate of size 50 cm x 50 cm x 5 cm that is optically coupled via wavelength-shifting optical fibres to a photomultiplier tube. Muons traversing the scintillator plates produce intense flashes of light that are converted into electrical signals by the photomultipliers and recorded with an intelligent electronics that determines the direction of the incident muon from the passage of a single muon through one upper and one lower scintillator tile. The measured muon rates after corrections for daily and pressure modulations are compared to daily averages. Deviations occur if a plasma cloud is moving between Sun and Earth yielding a change (increase or decrease) of the muon anisotropy.   


Institut für Physik
Universität Greifswald
Domstrasse 10a
17489 Greifswald (Germany)

Am Glaswerk 6
D-01640 Coswig (Germany)

1A - First Applications and Management consultancy for Space Weather Service Research, Education and Culture
Markt 15-19
17461 Greifswald (Germany)  

Contact / Manager

Prof. Dr. Rainer Hippler

Address: Insitut für Physik
Universität Greifswald
Domstrasse 10a
17489 Greifswald




Telephone: +49-3834-864780


Telefax: +49-3834-864701




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