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 likely to see some enhancements on 2nd and 3rd Dec due to increased geomagnetic activity from coronal hole and possible CME influences. This brings the possibility of aurora sightings over northern Scotland.

Southern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is likely to see some enhancements on 2nd and 3rd Dec due to increased geomagnetic activity from coronal hole and possible CME influences. This brings the possibility of aurora sightings at higher latitudes.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Chance of minor geomagnetic storms.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity was very low, with no significant flares detected. There are currently three sunspot regions visible, with the most recently emerged region in the northwest showing some development, but all remain magnetically simple. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) were seen, though a CME that left the Sun on the 29th may give Earth a glancing blow late on the 2nd. .

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind indicated connection to the fast wind from a coronal hole, with speeds often at elevated levels. The solar wind's magnetic field became steady at largely weak levels, with the important north-south component often in a southward orientation. Resultant geomagnetic activity was mostly at Quiet to Unsettled levels (Kp 2 to 3) with one Active (Kp4) interval.

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

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is likely to remain mostly very low, with a chance of common class flares, mainly from the larger sunspot region in the northwest.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: Continued enhancements from various coronal hole fast winds are expected through the period. A filament eruption which left the Sun on the 29th, may also bring a brief enhancement to solar winds  later during day 1 (2nd) from a glancing blow. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly Unsettled, but with some Active spells, and a chance of G1/Minor Storm intervals.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: The count rate of energetic particles (high energy protons) is forecast to persist 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.