SDO solar image - 1600 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
satellite
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Tuesday 23 October
last updated 22/2332 UT
Solar activity was Very Low today (UT day, 22 October). For the next 3 UT days (23-25 October) solar activity is expected to stay at Very Low levels. Geomagnetic activity was mainly at Quiet levels today across the Australian region. On UT day 23 October, the global geomagnetic activity is expected to be mainly at Quiet levels, with a chance of some Unsettled periods. Global geomagnetic activity may increase to Unsettled to Active levels on UT day 24 October, returning to mostly Quiet to Unsettled levels with the possibility of some Active periods on UT day 25 October. MUFs were mainly near monthly predicted levels today with periods of minor to mild depressions in some mid latitude areas. HF conditions are expected to remain mostly normal on UT day 23 October. Minor to moderate degradations in HF conditions and MUF depressions may be possible on UT days 24 and 25 October due to expected rise in geomagnetic activity levels on these days.
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
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Collage of images - Power lines, Learmonth Observatory, pipeline, Magnetometer measurements , Aurora at Casey, an Ionogram, and Satellite.
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