This Week From AGU: Cosmic Ray Intensity Can Warn Of Unexpected Geomagnetic Storms

AGU News:

Space industry should work with space weather researchers to avoid crashes:

Feb. 3, a majority of StarLink’s 49 launched satellites crashed back to Earth, pushed out of the sky by a relatively minor geomagnetic storm. Improved communication and collaboration between space industry and space weather researchers is necessary to avoid future satellite fallout, say three space weather researchers. [paper]

Featured videos:

Moving sands reveal evening breezes on Mars:

Repeat images of the Martian ground by cameras onboard the Curiosity rover provide a rare look at wind-blown sand movement on Mars. The images reveal near-daily migration of sand ripples toward the west/southwest. The movement is likely happening during the night, when there appears to be about four times more sand movement than during the day. [video] [research]

Featured research:

Cosmic ray intensity can warn of unexpected geomagnetic storms:

Predicting geomagnetic storms is important for planning space infrastructure operations, such as satellite launches. Cosmic ray intensities can become more chaotic just before geomagnetic storms but reading those intensity signals is difficult. A new record of cosmic ray intensities before strong geomagnetic storms, from 1998 to 2019, reveals how intensities may change the day before a geomagnetic storm. [research]

Dynamics of the dangerous Campi Flegrei caldera revealed:

Since 2000, one of Europe’s “most dangerous” volcanic calderas has been in a state of unrest, prompting concerns of eruptions. A new study explores how deep magma has refilled shallower magma chambers, resulting in weaker rocks toward the surface and allowing more gas to escape. The observations can help improve monitoring of the Italian volcano. [INGV press release; scroll down for English version] [research]

Moon jellies gobbling up zooplankton in Puget Sound:

Swarms of jellyfish have been seen more frequently in Puget Sound over the past several decades, and some biologists speculate these fast-growing jellyfish will do especially well in the warmer oceans of the future. New research suggests moon jellies are feasting on zooplankton, tiny animals that drift with the currents, in the bays they inhabit. This could affect other hungry marine life, like juvenile salmon or herring — especially if predictions are correct and climate change will favor fast-growing jellyfish. [University of Washington press release] [Ocean Sciences Meeting abstract]

Road salts linked to high sodium levels in tap water:

Use of de-icing agents may sometimes raise sodium levels in drinking water beyond healthy limits for people on salt-restricted diets. [Eos research spotlight] [research]

Air pollution was reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic:

A decrease in emissions of ozone precursor gases during the COVID-19 economic downturn likely explains the unusual reduction in ozone concentrations observed during the spring and summer of 2020. [Eos editor’s highlight] [research]

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