Feb 8, 2010 9:27 AM
Researchers say a new NASA satellite could help predict powerful solar storms that cause havoc on Earth. Dan Baker of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics calls the storms "space Katrina" events that can trigger massive electrical blackouts and communication failures.
A NASA satellite known as the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is scheduled to lift off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday with instruments designed to analyze the sun's atmosphere, its surface and even its interior.
The instruments were built by the University of Colorado in Boulder and Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto, Calif.