A new satellite is travelling 1.5 million kilometers over a 110-day period to enter an orbit of the sun. It is called DSCOVR -- the Deep Space Climate Observatory. It will replace a satellite that has been observing space weather.
DSCOVR will begin its work during the worst of the 11-year-long solar cycle. This is a time when extreme weather on the sun can have the greatest effect on planet Earth.
DSCOVR will gather information about a continuing flow of particles from the sun. We are protected from these particles by the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. But we are not fully protected from what scientists call Coronal Mass Ejections. These are strong storms that can happen on the sun's surface.
Thomas Berger is the director of the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. He says these ejections are much more dangerous than solar particles. He says the Coronal Mass Ejections are extremely large magnetic clouds that are expelled from the sun at extremely high speeds. He says when they impact Earth, it is like a hurricane impacting Earth in terms of space weather.
Violent space weather can make electric systems stop working. It can block satellite signals to Earth. It can interfere with radio signals and air travel.
Mr. Berger says we cannot stop the ejections from affecting us, but we can prepare for them if we know when they will happen. When the DSCOVR satellite records an ejection, it will release a warning. Mr. Berger says the warning will provide NOAA about 15 to 60 minutes to let people know that a very strong storm is coming in to the Earth. He says that is enough time for power grid operators to take protective action. He says it is also enough time for workers to place satellites on a safe operating method if necessary.
Mr. Berger says scientists would like even more time, of course. He says researchers are developing instruments that will give an earlier warning.
The warnings from DSCOVR will be for the whole planet. But Mr. Berger says a new system may be able to give more-targeted warnings. He says future models will be able to tell exactly what part of the world will be more at risk from a solar storm.
That means that, for the first time, humans will get both a warning that a magnetic storm is heading towards Earth and information about where it is likely to hit.
I'm Marsha James.
1.ejection n. 喷出；排出物
Radioactivity is the ejection of particles or radiation from the nucleus.
2.magnetic adj. 地磁的；有磁性的；有吸引力的
If we charge it with electricity, it will become magnetic.
如果充上电， 它就会带有磁性 。
1.It can interfere with radio signals and air travel.
interfere with 干扰，干涉；妨碍；触动或弄坏；乱动；与……抵触
The trees interfere with the view.
Who interfered with my papers?
伯格说我们不能阻止这些抛射影响我们，但如果抛射发生，我们可以做好应对的准备。当DSCOVR卫星记录到抛射时，就会发送警报 。伯格说该警报将为美国国家海洋和大气管理局提供了15到60分钟时间，让人们知道一场非常强烈的风暴即将影响地球 。他说这个时间足够让电网运营商采取保护行动，也足够让工人们在必要时将卫星设置成安全运作模式 。