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

Space weather notifications

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Aurora forecasts

Northern Hemisphere

No significant enhancements to the auroral oval are expected to occur during the next 3 days.

Southern Hemisphere

No significant enhancements to the auroral oval are expected to occur during the next 3 days.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: No significant activity expected.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity has been very low over the past 24 hours with no sunspot regions on the visible disc. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were observed in the available imagery.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed over the past 24 hours has mostly been slow at 350-400 km/s, with some brief forays to elevated levels giving a peak of 420 km/s at 17/2017 UTC. The total interplanetary magnetic field has been weak with the important north-south component similarly weak. Geomagnetic activity has been Quiet (Kp 1-2).

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: Energetic particles were at background levels throughout and no solar radiation storms were observed.

Four Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is forecast to be very low through the forecast period, with no sunspots on or expected to rotate on to the visible side of the Sun.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: Solar wind speeds are forecast to remain mostly slow on 18-19 Oct, perhaps increasing to slightly elevated levels at times. Geomagnetic activity in this period is expected to be Quiet (Kp 0-2) with a small chance of isolated Unsettled (Kp 3) intervals. During the second half of 20 Oct and through 21 Oct prevailing wind speeds are forecast to become slightly-elevated (400-500 km/s), perhaps increasing to elevated (500-550 km/s) at times. Quiet to Unsettled (Kp 2-3) conditions are expected with a chance of isolated Active (Kp 4) intervals.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: Energetic particles are forecast to remain at background levels with no solar radiation storms forecast.

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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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