Space Weather - a new science discipline

Prof. Rainer Schwenn

Our modern hi-¬tech society has become increasingly vul¬nerable to disturbances from outside the Earth system, in particular to those initiated by explosive events on the Sun. Indeed, “space weather” influences the performance of space-borne and ground-based technological systems and can even affect human life and health.
The economic consequences are enormous. That’s one reason why space weather and its predictability have recently attained major attention, not only with the involved scientists but also with the general public. Another reason is the new quality of observational data that have been obtained over the last decade from new space-¬based instruments. They have provided unprecedented breath-taking views of the Sun and its surroundings. Further, they allow ma¬jor advances in the understanding of the pro¬cesses that connect our home planet to its parent star, the Sun.