FORECAST SOL: Normal green MAG: Moderate yellow ION: Normal green
SDO solar image - 335 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
satellite
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Friday 24 February
last updated 23/2336 UT
Solar activity was low on UT day 23 February. Region 2638 (N18E20) produced a C1.3 flare that peaked at 2053 UT. The previously anticipated coronal hole effect has started and it is expected to keep the solar wind stream stronger on 24 and 25 February. Very low levels of solar activity may be expected for the next 3 days (24-26 February) with a slight chance of C-class activity. Geomagnetic activity was at quiet to unsettled levels across the Australian region on UT day 23 February. It was below the anticipated levels as Bz did not show sustained periods of sufficiently negative values. Geomagnetic activity may rise up to active levels on 24 and 25 February with some possibility of minor storm periods on 24 February. MUFs were mostly near predicted monthly values during UT day 23 February. Minor to moderate MUF depressions and degradations in HF conditions may be expected from 24 to 25 February due to expected rises in geomagnetic activity levels on these days.
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.
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