Stephen Petranek reveals the question that occupies scientists at the end of the day. How might the world end? He lays out the challenges that face us in the drive to preserve the human race. Will we be wiped out by an asteroid? Eco-collapse? How about a particle accelerator gone wild?
Most interesting is the decrease in the earth’s magnetic field that has allowed in more radiation. If the magnetic field has decreased (more) strength by 5% this might partly account for the recent increasing of temperature?
The STEREO mission will provide a totally new perspective on solar eruptions by capturing images of coronal mass ejections and background events from two observatories at the same time. STEREO’s twin observatories will be offset from one another in orbit. One observatory will be placed “ahead” of the Earth in its orbit, and using a series of lunar swingbys, the other will travel “behind.” Just as the slight offset between your eyes provides you with depth perception, this placement will allow the STEREO observatories to obtain 3-D images of the sun.
Using this unique 3-D imagery, scientists will be able to examine the structure of these important events, and learn more about their fundamental nature and origin.