SDO solar image - 131 angstroms - Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.
radio propagation
Today's Space Weather
Tuesday 30 June
last updated 29/2331 UT
Solar flare activity was low during 29 Jun. Active Region (AR) 2373 is located near the north east limb of the solar disk and produced the largest flare of the UT day, a C2 event peaking at 18:07 UT. Solar flare activity is expected to remain low during the next 48 hours. New sunspot groups are rotating into view and may become the source of significant solar activity later in the week. There are presently no Earthward directed CMEs. The solar wind speed is moderate. Geomagnetic conditions were quiet during 29 June and they are expected to remain quiet during the next 48 hours. Conditions for HF radio wave propagation were depressed throughout the Australian region during 29 Jun. The conditions are expected to be depressed again today, but trend gradually back toward near predicted monthly values during the next 3 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
Combined image of active region 1520 shortly before it unleashed an X-class flare. The image is made up of light in the 171 Angstrom wavelength, and a magnetogram.
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