Physics team to help NASA's STEREO mission
An Institute of Technology space physics team designed and built instruments that are set to travel aboard the twin spacecraft of NASA's STEREO mission - currently scheduled for launch Oct. 25 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The instruments will detect waves of energy and charged particles emitted by the sun via processes that may help cause solar outbursts called coronal mass ejections (CMEs). CMEs can wreak havoc with satellites, whole nations' power grids, and the well-being of astronauts. The team's instruments will be able to track the shock wave that precedes a CME as it moves through space, with the goal of allowing scientists to see when one is coming to Earth.