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 remain predominantly at background levels on the 2nd and 3rd, with occasional slight enhancements due to weak coronal mass ejection (CME) influences. A more substantial enhancement may take place between the 4th and 6th with the onset of one or more fast solar wind expected and a weak CME arrival. Any aurora sightings will be limited due to the very short nights at this time of year.

Southern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is expected to remain predominantly at background levels on the 2nd and 3rd, with occasional slight enhancements due to weak Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) influences. A more substantial enhancement may take place between the 4th and 6th with the onset of one or more fast solar winds expected and a weak CME arrival. Any aurora sightings are likely to be confined to high latitudes.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Chance of G1/Minor Storms throughout the forecast period.

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 flares observed. There are six sunspot regions, although only two are notable. A mature region in the southwest, is inactive and fading, with a region in the northeast developing a trailing spot and increasing in complexity. the remaining regions are all weak, benign or fading. No Earth-directed CMEs (coronal mass ejections) have been observed on available imagery.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed has been slow and steadily declining through the last 24 hours, as the effects of a CME arrival begin to ease. Total magnetic field strength has been moderate throughout, but has steadily weakened through the period. the important north-south component of the magnetic field started moderately negative, but switched to a moderately positive orientation, due to the transit of the trailing 'cloud' of plasma behind the initial CME. Geomagnetic activity was mainly Active during the first half of the period, with a single G1/Minor Storm interval, but has been Quiet for the remainder of the period.

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

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is likely to be Low or Very Low, with a very slight chance of Moderate activity.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The effects of the current CME will continue to subside through day 1 (03 July). Further Earth-directed CMEs may arrive at the Earth early on 03 July and either late on 05 or into 06 July. A  fast solar wind may connect with the Earth on 04 July with elevated speeds although this low confidence, due to the relative positions of Earth and the feature on the solar disc. A further fast solar wind is then likely to connect with Earth on day 3 (05 July) with estimated speeds of 500km/s. There is a slight chance of G1/Minor Storms throughout much of the period, with a higher risk on day 3 due to the combination of the potential onset of the initiation of the fast solar wind and the possible CME arrival.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: In the absence of any significant sunspot development, the count rate of energetic particles (high energy protons) is forecast to persist at background levels, 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.

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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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