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Meet the space-weather forecaster leading the charge to help us understand solar flares and geomagnetic storms before it’s too late.

My God, yes, we need a space weather channel.

File under things you don’t know you need until you start to think about it. Technology Review profiles Tamitha Skov, who runs a YouTube channel dedicated to forecasting space weather.

Via Erin Winick, MIT Technology Review:

Space weather can create spectacular auroras. But it can also disrupt and disable satellites that provide services like GPS. It can affect electrical grids, or even threaten astronauts onboard the International Space Station with dangerous levels of radiation…

For most of us, paying attention to space weather is about preparation. Just as you’d want advance warning of when your power or internet might go out because of a hurricane, you’d probably want to know when a solar storm might have the same effect. The people of Quebec didn’t get that warning in 1989, when a geomagnetic storm caused a 12-hour citywide blackout. Neither did the residents of Malm, Sweden, in 2003…

…Knowing the space forecast is especially important if you live near the poles, or in a country like Brazil, which faces frequent disturbances to GPS because of the plasma bubbles that form along the equator, and atmospheric fluctuations that affect radio signals.

Here’s Skov and her forecast in action.

More: Space weather affects your daily life. It’s time to start paying attention.
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