Coronal Mass Ejections

The Sun has been on a tear lately: hurling coronal mass ejections, one after another, across the solar system.

Here on Earth, the effects are mostly pretty (aurora) and occasionally annoying (power grid problems, satellite orientation issues).

On the surface of Mars, the effects would be more serious. With no magnetosphere and very little atmosphere to deflect and slow the incoming particle radiation, humans would have to seek shelter during the resulting solar particle event.

This is exactly what happens in my forthcoming book, Shelter: Generation Mars, Book Two. The sisters, Cas and Ori, and their parents are on an away mission when a solar particle event forces them to cut their plans short and find shelter where they can. A series of equipment failures makes their situation increasingly dire. Will the sisters be able to help the family survive? Find out in early 2022.

In the meantime, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll see the aurora.

image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

#auroraborealis #solarsystem #spaceweather

Hopping on an asteroid

Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe is currently in orbit around the asteroid Ryugu. It has successfully deployed two rovers, MINERVA-II1a and MINERVA-II1b, designed to literally hop around on the surface of the asteroid. The pics sent back so far are rather trippy. In particular, check out the video of the sun moving across the asteroid’s sky.