SDO solar image - 335 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
satellite
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Monday 29 August
last updated 28/2317 UT
Solar activity has been very low over the last 24 hours. The solar wind stream is expected to get and stay stronger for the next three days. Solar activity is expected to stay at very low levels for the next three days (29, 30 and 31 August) with some possibility of isolated C-class event. Geomagnetic activity mostly stayed at quiet levels on 28 August. Geomagnetic activity may rise to active and minor storm levels on 29 and 30 August. Activity may then gradually weaken to active through to unsettled and later quiet levels on 31 August. Mild to moderate MUF depressions were observed during the UT day, 28 August. Mild to significant depressions in MUFs and degradations in HF conditions may be observed from 29 to 31 August.
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
Collage of images - Power lines, Learmonth Observatory, pipeline, Magnetometer measurements , Aurora at Casey, an Ionogram, and Satellite.
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