ESC Solar Weather

Solar Weather Expert Service Centre (S-ESC)

Mission Statement

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A stack of PROBA2/SWAP images, radially enhanced off-limb to show the extended corona in full wealth. (© Proba2/SWAP - ESA and Royal Observatory of Belgium)

The source of most Space Weather perturbations can be directly linked to solar activity. Various solar phenomena and their manifestations in the solar wind need to be monitored in order to produce realistic Space Weather predictions. Solar flares, coronal mass ejections and coronal holes are all known to create space weather disturbances under certain conditions which can then in turn affect users' systems.

Phenomena such as these are ultimately driven by the Sun's magnetic field and are therefore regulated by the 11-year solar activity cycle, which is most obviously manifest in the sunspot cycle. High-quality data and state of the art computer modelling are essential tools to understand the processes and causality involved. This is greatly complicated by the fact that the near-Sun and near-Earth regions are rather better studied and understood than the ~150 million km of space in between them.