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 may be enhanced late on 7th or early 8th March, with the slight chance of minor geomagnetic storms and the potential for aurora sightings across the far north of Scotland and similar latitudes. Otherwise, generally background conditions expected.

Southern Hemisphere

The auroral oval may be enhanced late on 7th or early 8th March, with the slight chance of minor geomagnetic storms and aurora sightings at higher latitudes. Otherwise, nearer background conditions expected.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Slight chance of Minor Geomagnetic Storms at first.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours 

Solar Activity:  Solar activity was Very Low, with no significant flares detected and only one simple, but moderately sized bipolar sunspot developing near the Suns western limb. This has not produced any significant flares and no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were seen.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed declined from elevated to slightly elevated levels, falling to around 500km/s. Its magnetic field was generally weak with no notable negative (southward) deflections in the important north-south direction. Resultant geomagnetic activity was Unsettled at first, but Quiet since 06/1800 UTC.

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

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary 

Solar Activity: Solar activity is expected to remain Very Low or Low with a chance of common-class flares and currently one moderately developed sunspot region on the visible disc. 

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: A weak CME may give some peripheral impacts early on day 1, but this is low confidence. Otherwise, no other Earth-directed CMEs are forecast. Elevated solar winds are forecast to return to slow levels during the period under waning coronal hole influences. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be Quiet to Active at first, with a slight chance of Minor Storm intervals, otherwise generally Quiet to Unsettled conditions likely from day 2 (8th, and mostly Quiet from day 3 (9th).

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

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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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