SDO solar image - 131 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
satellite
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Saturday 02 July
last updated 01/2323 UT
Very low solar flare activity. The solar winds are currently Light and the geomagnetic activity at Quiet levels. The solar winds are expected to start enhancing today and geomagnetic conditions are expected to be mostly at Active levels and at times reaching Minor Storm levels in response to the coronal hole effects. Expect MUFs depressions and degradation in HF conditions especially at mid and high latitudes. There is chance that aurora may be visible tonight from high magnetic latitude regions of Australia, should favourable viewing conditions exist.
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
Closeup of a sunspot showing convection cells.
What's Inside