'Space weather' describes changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space.
Magnetic fields, radiation, particles and matter which have been ejected from the Sun can interact with the Earth's upper atmosphere and surrounding magnetic field to produce a variety of effects. Major impacts include possible interruptions to radio communications and GPS, disruption of power grids and damage to spacecraft.
The new Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre will provide the critical information to help build the resilience of UK infrastructure and impacted industries in the face of space weather events, thereby supporting continued economic growth.
Last updated: 6 May 2014