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
Thursday 17 August
last updated 17/0644 UT
Very Low to Low solar flare activity. Currently Moderate solar wind speeds. The onset of a high speed solar wind stream from a large extended northern hemisphere located recurrent coronal hole is expected over the next 24 hours resulting in Moderate to Strong solar wind. Geomagnetic conditions currently at Quiet-Unsettled levels with possible Active to Minor Storm periods for 17Aug. Chance of aurora sightings from southernmost Australian regions should Strong solar wind speed and prolonged southward Bz conditions develop (as well as favourable viewing conditions). Small chance for short-wave radio fadeouts. High-frequency radio communications currently normal. Degraded HF conditions for mid to high latitudes possible if geomagnetic activity increases.
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
What's Inside