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Key Differences in Solar Wind Models

Predicting space weather is a big challenge and important too, as it directly impacts the telecommunications and other satellite operations on Earth. Predicting space weather requires a detailed understanding of the solar wind and complex computer calculations. A new research at the University of Hampshire has found the right model to calculate solar wind with accuracy. The study has been published in The Astrophysical Journal.

There are two theoretical descriptions used to measure the turbulence of solar wind, kinetic theory and MHD (Magneto hydrodynamics). While the kinetic theory uses complex mathematical calculations that require long periods of observations, MHD views the solar wind as being a fluid and is much less complicated to calculate. The study revealed that MHD is a better and faster model to calculate as it delivers more precise predictions.

The finding could lead to a better way to forecast space weather for space institutions like NASA. A better understanding and prediction of space weather becomes much more important as it can cause satellite failures, GPS loss and affect commercial airlines.


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