According to news sources, Russia’s newest satellite, the Koronas-Photon, is different from its predecessors. It was constructed specifically to discover how increases in solar activity influence radiation levels, and how these specific changes affect the Earth’s climate. It is the fervent hope of the scientists involved in this project that this information will shed some light on whether global warming is a man-made or Sun-made phenomenon.
The Koronas-Photon is the third in the KORONAS series (Space Orbital Circumterrestrial Supervision of the Sun’s Activity), which is a long-term Russian space program studying the Sun and its relationship with the Earth. Koronas-Photon will be the first Russian scientific satellite launched into orbit in the past ten years and all three of them are Sun-focused observatories monitoring the Sun’s full radiation band. In conjunction with each other, they provide vital information on the physical characteristics of the Sun, including its atmosphere and the acceleration of solar winds, which directly influence Earth.
The focus of study for the new satellite will be on how solar activity influences the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere as well as its effect on human beings and industrial structures such as electric mains and communication and pipeline systems. Originally, the satellite was slated to be in orbit by the end of 2008, but ROSCOSMOS, the Russian federal space agency, had to delay the launch until the beginning of 2009.
Good luck, Koronas-Photon.
May the sun shine brightly on all your endeavors!