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A new satellite is now travelling 1.5 million kilometers over a 110-day period to an orbit around the sun. It is called DSCOVR — the Deep Space Climate Observatory. It will replace a satellite that has been watching space weather. DSCOVR will begin its work during the worst of the 11-year-long solar cycle, a time when extreme weather on the sun can have the greatest effect on planet Earth. DSCOVR will gather information about a continuing flow of particles from the sun. We are protected from these particles by the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere. But we are not fully protected from what scientists call Coronal Mass Ejections. These are strong storms that happen on the sun’s surface. Thomas Berger is the director of the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. He says these ejections are much more dangerous than solar particles. Violent space weather can make electric systems stop working. They can affect the ability of satellites to send signals to Earth. They also can interrupt radio signals and airplane travel. Mr. Berger says we cannot stop the ejections from affecting us, but we can prepare for them if we are told about them far enough in ahead of time. When the DSCOVR satellite records an ejection it releases a warning. Mr. Berger says the warning could take place 15 to 60 minutes before the strong storm hits earth. People can then take actions to protect power generation equipment or satellites in earth orbit. Mr. Berger says scientists are developing instruments that will give an even earlier warning.