SDO solar image - Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI image)- Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Saturday 28 November
last updated 27/2326 UT
Solar flare activity was very low during 27 Nov UT and it is expected to be very low during 28-29 Nov. Hydrogen alpha solar telescopes show a large prominence “floating” off the south west limb of the visible solar disk. Coronal Hole 703 is crossing the central meridian in the Southern Hemisphere. This feature may become the source of fast wind which impacts Earth next week. The solar wind speed increased from about 250 km/s to about 340 km/s during 04-05 UT, 27 Nov. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be mostly quiet, though with unsettled intervals during 28-29 Nov. The 27-day reoccurrence chart of geomagnetic activity suggests that a geomagnetic storm is possible during 30 Nov to 2 Dec. Conditions for HF radio communication are expected to be near predicted monthly values in the Australian region during 28 Nov. However, they will be depressed initially.
What is Space Weather ?

Space weather refers to changes in the space environment, particularly the region between the Earth and Sun. The "solar wind" from the Sun stream past the Earth and is mostly deflected by the Earth's magnetic field, but variations in the solar wind cause changes in the Earth's magnetic field.

solar prominence

Occasionally, a huge release of magnetic energy, called a solar flare, occurs on the Sun. Flares can produce large quantities of x-rays which affect the Earth's atmosphere. They can also accelerate atomic particles (mostly protons) to very high speeds (a substantial fraction of the speed of light!). These high energy particles are dangerous to man and can reach the stratosphere where jetliners fly.

Most aspects of space weather affect us to some extent. The more our society becomes dependent on technology and the more we utilise space, the more we are affected by space weather. Some aspects of space weather are benevolent, and allow activities not otherwise possible such as long range radio communications. Some aspects are benign but fascinating such as the Aurora, and some are malevolent. Like terrestrial weather, it sometimes depends on the situation and the event.

The image below is an artists impression of the solar wind interacting with the Earth's magnetic field.

Solar wind
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Combined image of active region 1520 shortly before it unleashed an X-class flare. The image is made up of light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, and a magnetogram.
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