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

Auroral activity is expected to be near background levels in the coming few days, with only minor enhancements to the solar wind currently expected.

Southern Hemisphere

Auroral activity is expected to be near background levels in the coming few days, with only minor enhancements to the solar wind currently expected.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: No significant activity.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity has been low over the past 24 hours, with a small common-class X-ray flare observed at 19/0115UTC from a newly-returned sunspot region near the southeastern solar horizon. The narrow viewing angle of this spot from Earth is likely to be masking some detail in this group, however for now it is assessed as being unipolar (magnetically, which tends to be less liable to flare than bipolar classification).

There were several CMEs observed departing the Sun through the period, while some are still waiting to be analysed none are expected to have an Earth-directed component.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed fell in the period to stabilise near normal background levels. The number of particles in the solar wind was similarly slightly elevated to start, but gradually fell away to background. The magnetic field associated with these particles was weak with no protracted periods spent anti-aligned with Earth's magnetic field.

The upshot of the preceding solar wind measures was Quiet conditions and remaining well below Minor Storm G1 throughout.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: No solar radiation storms were observed.

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is expected to be low through the period, with a daily 5% chance of moderate-class X-ray flares as a result of the sole sunspot on the sun. This assessment may be revised as it more fully rotates onto the facing side with time, perhaps also bolstered by a possible returning sunspot region over the northeastern solar horizon into the new working week.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: No CMEs feature in this forecast period.

There are two minor 'coronal holes' (periodic sources of fast solar wind) that may become geoeffective in the period. Both are of a potentially more geoeffective positive polarity (as we near the autumnal equinox), although they are now rather tenuous looking. No significant geomagnetic activity is foreseen as a result, as on previous rotations, and although it should remain below Minor Storm G1 throughout, activity will probably be greatest towards midweek UTC.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: No solar radiation storms are 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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