FORECAST SOL: Normal green MAG: Disturbed red ION: Normal green
SDO solar image - 4500 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Friday 22 March
last updated 21/2332 UT
Low solar activity is expected for UT day 22 March with a small chance that the active region 2736 will produce an isolated M-class flare. The solar wind speed is predicted to remain at its background levels. Geomagnetic activity in the Australian region is predicted to be at Quiet levels. High-frequency radio communication users are advised to use mostly near predicted monthly frequencies. The CME which became visible on 20 March at 1140 UT is expected to arrive at the Earth in the first half of the UT day 23 March.
What is Space Weather ?

Impacts on Critical Infrastructure.

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
Closeup of a sunspot showing convection cells.
What's Inside