Heliophysics Gets Its Day in the Sun at Eclipse Hearing
Hammel said that a number of agencies are engaged in space weather preparations. UIvestad elaborated, pointing to the work of the Space Weather Operations Research and Mitigation Task Force of the National Science and Technology Council, and particularly the National Space Weather Action Plan released in 2015.
Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), a former Fermilab physicist, later asked about how similar preparation and mitigation are for space weather events and electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) caused by nuclear weapons. Zurbuchen replied that the physics of the events is similar but that a key difference is scale, with the effects of space weather events being more widespread.
In May, the Senate passed the “Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act,” which would enshrine many of the government’s ongoing space weather efforts in statute. Science Committee member Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) introduced a companion bill in the House in June that is co-sponsored by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Science Committee Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and President Trump’s nominee for NASA administrator, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).