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ESA's space weather station Proba-2 tracks stormy Sun

06 December 2011

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Researchers gathered for European Space Weather Week have been presented with the latest results from ESA's own space weather station: the Proba-2 microsatellite.

The unpredictably stormy Sun drives space weather: surges of charged particles can damage satellites, impede space-based services and affect terrestrial power networks.
Less than a cubic metre, Proba-2 was launched on 2 November 2009 as a technology demonstrator but is now working as a science mission, having exceeded its two-year design life.

Proba-2 science data are also useful for space weather monitoring: two instruments watch the Sun, with two more studying the Sun's influence on Earth’s topmost ionosphere.

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