With the current efforts to return humans to the Moon and the longer term goal to send people to Mars, now is the time to better understand the space weather conditions and their effects beyond the near-Earth environment. During the maximum phase of the solar activity cycle, space weather events triggered by solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and their associated solar energetic particles (SEPs) can significantly disturb the local space environments at Earth, at the Moon and at Mars. How these extreme events impact these various planetary bodies will depend on their respective plasma environments (e.g., airless, tenuous or thick atmosphere, with or without a magnetosphere). While there are fewer extreme events related to CMEs and flares during the quiescent solar cycle phase, events triggered by corotating solar wind streams become more prominent. At the same time, very high energy particles from Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) significantly increase the background space radiation. This session will focus on our current knowledge and understanding of space weather events at Earth and beyond throughout different phases of the solar cycle and the implications for sending humans to the Moon and crewed missions to Mars.
Christina O Lee, Alec Engell, Kelsey Doerksen
18th Conference on Space Weather