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 Ovation Model indicates that the auroral oval is mostly close to background levels. Minor enhancements on 29 and 30 Jan are possible due to a weak coronal mass ejection heading towards Earth.

Southern Hemisphere

The Ovation Model indicates that the auroral oval is mostly close to background levels. Minor enhancements on 29 and 30 Jan are possible due to a weak coronal mass ejection heading towards Earth.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Slight chance of Minor Storm intervals on 29 and 30 January.
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 solar flares observed. There is one decaying sunspot region in the western hemisphere, with another very weak sunspot region showing signs of some development in the eastern hemisphere. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have been observed in the available imagery over the past 24 hours.
Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed has been slow over the past 24 hours. The total interplanetary magnetic field strength has been mostly weak, although since 28/1800 UTC an increase in strength to near-moderate levels has been detected. The important north-south component has been fluctuating throughout; however, it has shown a more notable negative deflection since 28/2100 UTC. Geomagnetic activity has been generally Quiet (Kp 0-1) with one Unsettled (Kp 3) interval leading up to 29/0000 UTC.
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: There is a slight chance of common class flares from the decaying sunspot region in the western hemisphere. The newly observed sunspot pair in the eastern hemisphere is not expected to result in any significant flares in its current state, but will be monitored in case it develops further.
Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: One Earth-directed CME, released on 25 Jan, is currently forecast which may arrive today or tomorrow (29 or 30 Jan). There is a chance that this may result in isolated Active (Kp 4) intervals, with a very small chance that Minor Storm (G1/Kp 5) conditions could develop. In addition, the Earth is due to move into an area of coronal hole high speed stream influence today, which may result in occasional Unsettled intervals (Kp 3).
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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