FORECAST SOL: Normal green MAG: Normal green ION: Normal green
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
Monday 22 January
last updated 21/2319 UT
Solar activity was very low today (UT day 21 January). Very low levels of solar activity may be expected for the next three days (22 to 24 January). Geomagnetic activity showed some rise, up to unsettled levels today in the Australian region. Nearly similar levels of geomagnetic activity may be expected on 22 and 23 January with the possibility of some active periods on 22 January. Geomagnetic activity is expected to lower down to mostly quiet levels on 24 January. Mostly normal HF conditions were observed today with some periods of minor MUF depressions at midlatitudes. Periods of Sporadic E blanketing were also evident. Minor to moderate MUF depressions may be observed in the Aus/NZ regions on 22 and 23 January. HF conditions may return to more normal levels on 24 January.
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.
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