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 slightly enhanced through much of the period. There is a high likelihood of temporary elevated geomagnetic activity through the 3 day period, with minor geomagnetic storms enhancing the auroral oval.

Southern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is expected to be slightly enhanced through much of the period. There is a high likelihood of temporary elevated geomagnetic activity through the 3 day period, with minor geomagnetic storms enhancing the auroral oval.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline:  Minor geomagnetic storms likely.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity has been very low over the past 24 hours, with no significant X-ray flare activity, except a Common-class flare at 26/0040 UTC. There are no sunspots on the visible disc, although ex-2773 did re-emerge briefly during the period before fading back to plage. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed on available imagery.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed has been close to 500km/s through most of the period, peaking at 558 km/s at 26/0902 UTC. The total magnetic field was weak, and the important north-south component of the field also varied weakly, but often southward. Geomagnetic activity was mainly Unsettled to Active, with one Minor Storm period early this morning.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: The flux of energetic particles (high energy protons) in the solar wind was at background levels, with no solar radiation storms occurring.

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary  

Solar Activity: Solar activity is forecast to be low or very low, with no sunspots currently on the visible disc.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: There are no Earth-directed CMEs. Under the influence of northern, positive coronal holes the solar wind is expected to remain elevated, perhaps increasing to strong at times, especially later in the period. Geomagnetic activity is forecast to be mainly Unsettled to Active on Days 1 and 2, with Minor Storm intervals possible. Then mainly Unsettled to Active conditions with occasional Minor Storms on Day 3 and 4, and lower risk of Major Storms. The aurora may be seen from northern Scotland with clear skies.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: The flux of energetic particles (high energy protons) is forecast to remain at background, with no solar radiation storms expected.

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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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