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  what is space weather?
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  how does the Earth defend itself?
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how does the Earth defend itself?

 
The Earth is under constant attack by both radiation and particles from the Sun. It defends and protects itself from this space weather in two main ways.
 

The atmosphere is very good at absorbing some wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. The plot below shows which wavelengths can get through the Earth's atmosphere.

 

Notice that the atmosphere completely blocks out short-wavelength and dangerous radiation like X-rays (wavelength from 1-10 nm). Because of this, we are well protected from the electromagnetic radiation of space weather.

     
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The Earth's main protection against energetic particles, which can be just as harmful as electromagnetic radiation, is its magnetic field and the protective effects it creates. The Earth's magnetic field creates a shield which deflects ionised particles so that they cannot reach the Earth's surface. Recently, another protective shield has been discovered, check out the Hot News.

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