While it may not seem like a big deal, the weather in space is actually something that scientists have to be extremely concerned about. With every major nation becoming increasingly dependent on satellites for communication, it is imperative to know what the weather conditions in space are like.
Weather in space doesn’t mean exactly the same thing as your local 7 day forecast though. Whereas you might be concerned with rain and how it will affect your picnic, scientists developing satellites must be concerned with how their machinery will stand up to solar winds, energy particles from eruptions on the sun, and geomagnetic storms. Suddenly a little rain doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
To say nothing of the importance of keeping astronauts safe, many of these satellites have data on their onboard chips that simply cannot be lost. Having a rogue electromagnetic storm wipe out one of NASA’s intelligence satellite could be a very, very bad thing.
There’s quite a bit more about NASA’s newly launched STEREO satellites in this article.