Space Weather

Space Weather

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.

Image courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams

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Aurora forecasts

Northern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is expected to be close to background levels on the 5th, but with a chance of becoming slightly enhanced later on the 6th or on the 7th. This bringing a chance of visible of aurora at high latitudes, with a slight chance of extending to the far north of Scotland.

Southern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is expected to be close to background levels on the 5th, but with a chance of becoming slightly enhanced later on the 6th or on the 7th. This bringing a chance of visible of aurora at high latitudes.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Chance of G1/Minor Storms Days 2/3 (6th/7th)

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity has been Very Low, with no significant X-ray flares observed. AR2850 in the southwest quadrant has continued to decay and is now plage. There are currently two small, simple and yet to be numbered sunspots on the visible disc. The sunspot near centre disc and close to the meridian has been classified Alpha/Axx. The sunspot which has recently emerged from plage in the southeast quadrant has been classified Beta/Bxo. There have been no Earth-directed Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) observed in the last 24 hours.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind has been at background levels, between 300-340 km/s. The magnetic field carried by the wind (Interplanetary Magnetic Field) was weak, with no notable southward pointing field. Geomagnetic Activity remains Quiet. 

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: The count rate of energetic particles (high energy protons) was at background with no solar radiation storms observed.

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is expected to remain Low or Very Low, with two small and simple sunspots on the disc and no significant flares expected.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: No CMEs are expected to arrive at Earth in the period. Background solar wind speeds at first are likely to become enhanced later day 2 (6th) and into day 3 (7th) as Earth moves into the faster solar winds wind from a coronal hole, perhaps reaching 500 km/s. Although confidence is Low regarding the strength of any enhancement. Quiet geomagnetic activity is expected at first, rising to Unsettled to Active with a chance of G1/Minor Storms day 2 or day 3 (6th or 7th). Easing to Quiet to Unsettled through day 4 (8th)

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation:  The count rate of energetic particles (high energy protons) is forecast to stay at background with no solar radiation storms observed.

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Solar imagery

SDO AIA-193

This channel highlights the outer atmosphere of the Sun - called the corona - as well as hot flare plasma. Hot active regions, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections will appear bright here. The dark areas - called coronal holes - are places where very little radiation is emitted, yet are the main source of solar wind particles.

SDO AIA-304

This channel is especially good at showing areas where cooler dense plumes of plasma (filaments and prominences) are located above the visible surface of the Sun. Many of these features either can't be seen or appear as dark lines in the other channels. The bright areas show places where the plasma has a high density.

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