Current Space Weather
Small blue image above left is the relative size of the earth compared to that of the sun in the animation.
SDO-NASA and the [AIA, EVE, and/or HMI] consortium.
Primer on Space Weather
Current Sunspot Activity
- Sunspots are solar magnetic storms. The spots appear darker because the temperature
of the spots are lower than the surrounding photosphere.
- They serve as a reservoir for solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which cause
Aurorae, power/communication outages, and satellite anomalies.
- The Sun's activity waxes and wanes in an 11-year sunspot cycle; Solar Minimum is
when the number of sunspots are lowest.
- There seems to be a correlation between Solar Min/Maximum and Earth's weather.
The extent to which Ozone, stratospheric winds, global circulation patterns, and cloud seeding are all affected are
still being studied.
Sunspot graph courtesy: Newquay Weather
Interplanetary Magnetic Field
||Solar Radiation Storms:
The Proton Flux shows the last 3 days of data for the most dangerous part of a Solar Storm; Solar Radiation.
Note the left side Particles value of 101 through 105 MeV for the red band,
and the duration of the storm. Match with the
Solar Radiation Storm column in the
||Radio Blackouts: This plot
shows the last 3 days of Solar X-ray values for the part of Solar Storms causing radio blackouts.
Note the left side (W/m2) of 10-5 through 10-2 and note the right side
M or X. Match with Radio Blackouts column in the
eg. An Xray Flux of 10-3 in the X20 range (very top plot w/out a value in the right side) is indicative of an EXTREME (R5) event-radio
blackout on the entire sunlit side of Earth lasting for a number of hours.
||Geomagnetic Storms This
plot shows Geomagnetic Storm strength. Note the left side Kp value of 5 through 9 (<5 not an event) and
duration. Match with the Geomagnetic Storm column in the
eg. A Kp 7 event is a STRONG (G3) event-HF radio may be intermittent, and aurora have
been seen as low as Illinois and Oregon.
Direction, Angle, and Magnitude of the Solar Wind can be determined using the dials below.
This plot shows actual Solar Wind pressure on Earth's Magnetosphere.
IMF Dials courtesy: Rice Space Institute
This plot shows the current extent and
position of the auroral oval in the northern hemisphere, during the most recent NOAA POES satellite pass.
in the plot, that looks like a clock hand, points toward the noon meridian.
The power fluxes are color coded on a scale from 0 to 10 ergs .cm-2.sec-1
according to the color bar on the right. The pattern has been oriented
with respect to the underlying geographic map using the current UTC
time, updated every ten minutes.
IPS Space Weather
monitor in the page heading provides a textual status of X-ray activity
and refers to the X-Ray Flux graph at the top of the page.
flux is quiet
|M CLASS FLARE
M Class Solar Flare has occurred (>= 1.00e-5 W/m^2).
|X CLASS FLARE
X Class Solar Flare has occurred (>= 1.00e-4 W/m^2).
unprecedented X-ray event has
occurred (>= 1.00e-3 W/m^2).