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

Chance of aurora becoming visible where cloud breaks occur over northern areas of Scotland on Sunday night but low confidence. Chances are probably higher on the following (Monday) night, but again restricted to northern Scotland. This is related to possible glancing CME(s) which are probably relatively weak.

Southern Hemisphere

Chance of aurora becoming visible where cloud breaks occur at high latitudes on Sunday night but low confidence. Chances are probably higher on the following (Monday) night, but again likely to be restricted to high latitudes. This is related to possible glancing CME(s) which are probably relatively weak.

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Forecast overview

Space Weather Forecast Headline: Minor Geomagnetic Storm day 2 from possible CME influence. Daily chance of Minor Radio Blackouts (R1) throughout.

Analysis of Space Weather Activity over past 24 hours

Solar Activity: Solar activity, as measured by GOES-16 and 17 satellites, has been Low, with further Common-class flares, originating from two sunspot regions located in the northeast and southeast quadrants.

There are currently six numbered active regions on the visible disc, and a possible small new un-numbered region near centre disc. The largest group is located towards the northeast limb, with two other modestly large regions in the southeast quadrant. The remaining regions in the western hemisphere are largely benign and showing decay.

Previously analysed CMEs from 21st and 22nd may give some glancing influence at Earth either late on the 25th or more likely during 26th, however confidence is low, and an arrival early on 27th is also possible. No other Earth directed CMEs have been observed in recent imagery.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: The solar wind, as measured by DSCOVR and ACE at L1, showed a gradual reduction from slightly elevated levels to background levels. The number of particles comprising the wind was at mostly Average levels with a slight downward trend. The magnetic field associated with the wind was at Weak levels, with the important north/south component often in the south pointing orientation. Corresponding geomagnetic activity was Quiet to Unsettled (Kp 1 to 3).

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

Four-Day Space Weather Forecast Summary

Solar Activity: Solar activity is forecast to be generally Low, with a daily Chance of isolated Moderate-class flares.

Solar Wind / Geomagnetic Activity: This forecast period comprises two low confidence CMEs potentially arriving on day 2 (26th), and perhaps some limited coronal hole influence from a southern coronal hole later in the period.

Solar winds have gently decreased and are now settled at background levels, following the recent coronal hole influence. A potential enhancement may occur from late day 1 and into day 2 from possible glancing CME influences, with a 30% chance of G1 intervals. Any potential influence from a southern coronal hole later in the period is most likely to be limited in impacts, with G1 currently assessed as being unlikely. In summary, geomagnetic activity is likely to remain mostly below G1 level through the period.

Energetic Particles / Solar Radiation: No solar radiation storms are expected, although there is a very slightly increasing risk due to the usual westward advance of the more active sunspot groups across the facing side of the Sun.

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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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