FORECAST SOL: Normal green MAG: Normal green ION: Normal green
SDO solar image - 1600 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
satellite
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Friday 19 January
last updated 18/2326 UT
Solar activity was very low today (UT day 18 January). Very low levels of solar activity may be expected for the next three days (19 to 21 January) with a slight chance of isolated C-class flare. Geomagnetic activity stayed at quiet levels across the Australian region today. Mostly quiet geomagnetic conditions are expected in this region on 19 January. Geomagnetic activity may rise to active levels on 20 and 21 January due to the effect of a coronal hole. Minor to moderate MUF depressions were observed today. Periods of Sporadic E blanketing were also evident. Mostly normal HF conditions may be expected on 19 January. An expected rise in geomagnetic activity from late hours on 19 January and continued very low levels of solar activity may cause minor to significant MUF depressions on 20 and 21 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
Type II solar radio spectrograph event 17 Dec 2014
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