The orbit is at a location called the Lagrange point 1, or L1, a location where the gravity of the Earth counteracts that of the Sun and where DSCOVR DSCOVR will have a permanent view of the Sun and the sunlit side of Earth.
Cosmos previewed the space weather station’s mission shortly after it was launched on its way in February for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“DSCOVR will trigger early warnings whenever it detects a surge of energy that could cause a geomagnetic storm that could bring possible damaging impacts for Earth,” said Stephen Volz, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.
DSCOVR will eventually replace NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) research satellite as the primary warning system for solar magnetic storms headed towards Earth. ACE will continue to provide valuable research data to the science community.
In addition to space weather-monitoring instruments, DSCOVR is carrying two NASA Earth-observing instruments that will gather a range of measurements from ozone and aerosol amounts, to changes in Earth’s radiation budget – the balance between incoming radiation (largely from the sun) and that which is reflected from Earth. This balance affects our climate.
For more information about the mission, check out the DSCOVR site.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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