Space Weather Information

When we talk about “weather” we usually mean conditions in the Earth’s atmosphere, such as air temperature, humidity, the speed and direction of the wind, air pressure precipitation and the progression and development of overall weather patterns.

There is also weather in space, but it isn’t quite the same as weather on Earth. Space weather concerns conditions in space that change from time to time due to various astronomical energy sources and influences. The conditions in space have an effect on planets and their atmospheres.

Suns give off more radiation and sometimes less. Our Sun is no different. A flow of charged particles called the solar wind constantly streams outward from the Sun, although its speed and intensity change from time to time.  The earth has a magnetic field around it and space is filled with such fields of more or less strength. These magnetic fields control the motions of charged particles. So changes in radiation emitted from other Suns (this is called galactic radiation), the solar wind from our own Sun (solar radiation - which is by far the bigger source of charged particles), magnetic fields, and other factors make up the space weather that impacts on our Earth, just like changes in temperature, rainfall, and winds make up ordinary weather on Earth.

Further information on Space Weather can be found at:

www.windows2universe.org/space_weather/sw_intro/what_is_sw.html.

Current space weather conditions, alerts and warnings are provided by several agencies around the world including the US Space Weather Prediction Centre:

 http://www.swpc.noaa.gov.