SDO solar image - 94 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Wednesday 25 November
last updated 24/2331 UT
Solar flare activity was very low on 24 Nov UT and it is expected to be very low to low today, 25 Nov. The Earth is currently immersed in slow solar wind with the speed fluctuating in the approximate range 260 km/s to 360 km/s. Fast solar wind is expected to arrive at Earth today. Geomagnetic conditions may reach active levels during 25-26 Nov due to the arrival of a frontal disturbance ahead of the fast solar wind. Even if a minor geomagnetic storm eventuates, conditions for aurora viewing will be poor because of a full moon. Conditions for HF radio communication are expected to be enhanced throughout the Australian region today.
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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Aurora Australis as seen from the International Space Station, with the port wing of space shuttle Atlantis, and segment of a boom sensor system attached to the shuttle's robotic arm.
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