Glossary term: Space Weather

Description: Space weather describes time-varying conditions near Earth related to the presence of charged particles and the properties of Earth's magnetic field. Inclement space weather, with large numbers of charged particles arriving from outer space, can make radio communication more difficult and, in the case of a solar storm, go so far as to damage electronics in spacecraft or even on the ground. It is also associated with what are surely the most beautiful space weather phenomena: colorful polar lights. Factors that influence space weather are cosmic rays, the state of the Van Allen belts of charged particles in Earth's magnetic fields, the solar wind of charged particles, and events such as flares and coronal mass ejections launching charged particles in the direction of Earth.

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The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".