Space Weather

Space Weather

Space weather describes changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space. Magnetic fields, radiation, particles and matter, which have been ejected from the Sun, can interact with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and surrounding magnetic field to produce a  variety of effects.

Image courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams

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Aurora forecasts

Northern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is expected to remain predominantly at background levels, although perhaps with slight enhancements on the 24th and 25th due to the arrival of coronal hole fast winds. Aurora sightings will be limited due to the very short nights at this time of year in the northern hemisphere.

Southern Hemisphere

The auroral oval is expected to remain predominantly at background levels, although perhaps with slight enhancements on the 24th and 25th due to the arrival of coronal hole fast winds. Aurora sightings are expected to be confined to higher latitudes.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Slight Chance of a moderate-class X-ray flare. Slight chance of G1/Minor Geomagnetic Storms, peaking Saturday 25 June.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity has remained Low over the past 24 hours, with only isolated low level C-class flares. There are currently three sunspots on the visible disc, with AR3038 remaining the largest of the region and also the most complex. However, this region in the northwest quadrant has diminished in size and complexity through the period. The other two sunspots are small and stable.

A large filament in the northwest disc was seen to lift off early on the 24 June. Lack of available imagery has hindered the analysis, as a CME may have been emitted, and any CME may have an Earth directed component. However, currently no Earth-directed CME's are expected

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind speed was predominantly 410-450 km/s, but very briefly peaked at 542 km/s at 24/1508 UTC. The strength of the solar winds magnetic field was weak until 24/1547 UTC, thereafter increased to moderate levels. The important north-south component of the magnetic field was positive for the first half of the period, then became largely weakly negative from 24/1515. The resulting geomagnetic activity was Quiet to Unsettled.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: No solar radiation storms were observed.

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is likely to be Low, with a daily Slight Chance of an isolated Moderate class flare. One region, which is the largest and most complex on the disc, currently generates the main flare risk, but will rotate off the visible disc during day 3 (27 June). No significant returning regions are expected to rotate onto the visible disc through the period.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: No CMEs are currently thought to be Earth directed. Occasional enhancements, in the currently slightly elevated solar wind, to elevated or perhaps strong speeds, likely from later today and through days 2 and 3 (26th and 27th). Solar winds are expected to decline to slightly elevated levels through day 4 (28th). There is a Slight Chance of Minor Storms periods later today and especially through tomorrow, otherwise geomagnetic activity is expected to be Quiet to Unsettled for much of today, and also through day 4, while in-between increasing Unsettled to Active.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: No solar radiation storms are expected but with a daily slight chance of an S1 or greater event as a result of the large sunspot gradually nearing the better-connecting (with Earth) western limb.

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Solar imagery

SDO AIA-193

This channel highlights the outer atmosphere of the Sun - called the corona - as well as hot flare plasma. Hot active regions, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections will appear bright here. The dark areas - called coronal holes - are places where very little radiation is emitted, yet are the main source of solar wind particles.

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SDO AIA-304

This channel is especially good at showing areas where cooler dense plumes of plasma (filaments and prominences) are located above the visible surface of the Sun. Many of these features either can't be seen or appear as dark lines in the other channels. The bright areas show places where the plasma has a high density.

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