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
Tuesday 21 February
last updated 20/2328 UT
Solar activity was at very low levels on UT day 20 February. A recurrent coronal hole is expected to start strengthening solar wind stream from 22 February. Very low levels of solar activity may be expected for the next 3 days (21-23 February) with a slight chance of C-class flares. Geomagnetic activity was mostly quiet with some unsettled periods across the Australian region on UT day 20 February. Mostly quiet geomagnetic conditions with some unsettled periods may be expected on 21 February. Geomagnetic activity may rise to Active levels on 22 and 23 February due to the expected effect of another coronal hole. MUFs were mostly near predicted monthly values during UT day 20 February. Nearly similar HF conditions may be expected on 21 February. Minor to moderate MUF depressions and degradations in HF conditions may be expected on 22 and 23 February due to expected rises in geomagnetic activity levels on these days.
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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