Astronomy: The Space Condition Forecasters

People who got a good look at the sun's glowing corona during its recent eclipse may have seen faint veils of light trailing off into space. Appearing as harmless as thistledown, they were visible evidence of the sun's far-reaching violence. Stormy weather on the sun sometimes tosses out clouds of deadly particles, mostly protons, that can kill in a few minutes any humans riding in thin-walled spacecraft. So among the scientists who studied the corona were members of a new, specialized profession: solar meteorology. Their job is to learn to forecast solar weather and try to pick times...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!