Space Weather

When most people hear the word weather they think of conditions that can be seen by looking out the window. Whether today will be sunny or cloudy. Whether it will rain or not. However, weather can relate to more than just Earth’s atmosphere. Space has weather too!

Space weather refers to changes in radiation, magnetic fields, or other space matter and how those are carried through space by the solar wind. Watching these fields can help predict events such as solar flares, which can help save satellite electronics from being fried! They can also predict when and where meteor showers or auroras can be seen, such as the NASA photograph below.

As far as today goes, no solar spots are currently flaring so the chances of seeing an aurora over the Dakotas is pretty slim. However, forecasters predict a 25% chance of storms polar geomagnetic storms today and tomorrow so sky watchers in Canada and Alaska might get lucky.

-Tracy Bartholome

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