NRL/NASA Experiment to Study Origins of Solar Energetic Particles

Home / Articles / External / Government

Source: U.S. Navy,
Source: U.S. Navy,

December 22, 2021 | Originally published by NRL on November 23, 2021

A joint-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/NASA experiment prepares to investigate the origins of solar energetic particles (SEPs) that could affect Navy satellites and harm personnel during future crewed missions to the moon and beyond.

Researchers will use a new instrument, the Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph Pathfinder (UVSC Pathfinder), to try to understand the origins of these particles and how they’re generated close into the sun to provide accurate space weather forecasting when these events happen.

“These SEPs are the Sun’s most dangerous form of radiation, and they pose a major challenge to space exploration,” said Leonard Strachan Jr., Ph.D. astrophysicist at NRL, and the mission’s principal investigator. “These powerful particles can wreak havoc with spacecraft and expose astronauts to dangerous radiation.”

Focus Areas