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Space Weather
Designed by Mark Little
What is Space Weather

"Space Weather" refers to the environmental conditions primarily between the Sun and the Earth. Although the term "space Weather" implies that it deals with something that is totally outside of the Earth's atmosphere, this is not the case. Normally, it does deal with the effects on the very upper parts of the atmosphere and how it is influenced by outer-space events, primarily, but not only, from the Sun.
Space weather deals with ambient plasma, magnetic fields, radiation, particle flows in space and how these phenomena may affect the operation of space and ground-based activities. Non-solar sources such as Galactic Cosmic Rays can affect space weather since they alter environmental conditions that can impact on human activities in space and on the ground.

Space Weather Internationally

In June 2008, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)  Executive Council noted the considerable impact of Space Weather on meteorological infrastructure and important human activities. It acknowledged the potential synergy between meteorological and Space Weather services to operational users. In May 2010, the WMO established the Interprogramme Coordination Team on Space Weather (ICTSW) with a mandate to support a Space Weather Programme, data exchange, product and services delivery, and operational applications.

Space Weather in Australia

Like the more commonly understood Atmospheric Weather, in Australia, monitoring Space Weather is in the domain of the Bureau Of Meteorology (BOM), among other bodies such as Universities, etc.

Just like Atmospheric Weather observations with things like personal weather stations, the Citizen Scientist can also help explore aspects of Space Weather, using tools such as Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID) monitoring. More advanced observations can include monitoring the activity of the Sun by observing the Sunspot Cycle, or participating in a Citizen Science project such as Solar Stormwatch (from Zooniverse).

The Australian Meteorological Association of Australia (AMETA) provided an Introduction to Space Weather presentation (4.5MB) to explain the basics to its members.