The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) was established in 2010. Following a period of rapid growth and transition the agency has made significant advancements towards addressing its mandate of deriving greater value from space science and technology for the benefit of South African society.

Release: CME from Sun heads toward Earth

on . Posted in SANSA Space Science News

Solar flare1

Active region 1944 erupted on 7 January 2014 with an X-class X-ray solar flare accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME is travelling towards Earth and is estimated to impact the Earth's magnetic field around 9:00 UT on 09 January 2014. Based on time/height measurements of SOHO/LASCO data the initial CME speed is estimated at ~2353 km/s. The impact of the CME could spark a strong geomagnetic storm through 9 - 10 January 2014 and will be monitored by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA).

A CME is a massive cloud of high energy particles ejected from the surface of the Sun when stored energy is suddenly released. When the magnetic field of a CME interacts with the Earth's magnetic field it causes a temporary disturbance know as a geomagnetic storm.

The impact of a CME will not harm humans and other life forms on Earth as we are protected by the Earth's magnetic field. However it can cause disturbances to our satellite communication systems like GPS, radio communications, internet, cell phones and DStv. Major disturbances are expected at this stage.

Contact +27 28 312 1196  for more information


+27 28 312 1196 +27 28 312 1196


New Space Weather Radar Heads for Antarctica

on . Posted in SANSA Space Science News

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) bid farewell to a team of scientists and engineers as they departed on the SA Agulhas II for Antarctica on 28 November 2013. The 53rd Antarctic expedition marks a milestone for the Space Agency with the commissioning of a new High Frequency Digital Radar system which will be installed at the South African Antarctic research base.

The radar forms part of the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) an international network of over 30 radars used to monitor the dynamics of space weather. "Studying the weather in space is an important area of research as it helps us understand how to protect technology on earth and in space from the devastating effects of solar activity" said Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell, SANSA Space Science MD.

Dont' miss the latest SANSA updates! FacebookTwitterYoutube