SDO solar image - 193 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
satellite
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Monday 26 September
last updated 26/0304 UT
Very Low to Low solar flare activity. Solar wind speed expected to range from Light to Very Strong. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to reach Active levels due to the onset of a high speed solar wind stream from recurrent coronal hole effects. Depressed maximum usable frequencies for HF radio communications for Low to Mid latitudes, disturbed ionospheric support at High latitudes. Aurora sightings possible from southernmost Australian regions should strong solar wind speed develop along with sustained southward Bz and favourable viewing conditions.
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
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.
What's Inside