Space weather refers to events that are a result of solar activity and can affect the geomagnetic environment of the Earth. Magnetic activity on the Sun varies with time and has an 11-year cycle. Explore a variety of space weather phenomena using Wolfram|Alpha. Sunspots are areas on the Sun where magnetic fields disrupt the normal flow of plasma and cause localized cooling, thus appearing dark. If these magnetic fields become unstable, they can reconnect into a different configuration and release intense bursts of plasma and energy as a solar flare. Solar flares can trigger a coronal mass ejection (CME), which can throw large amounts of solar plasma toward Earth. As this plasma follows the magnetic field lines of the Earth, it glows as it excites the atmosphere near the poles creating aurorae, or the northern or southern lights. Solar flares can also trigger proton storms and radio blackouts that can damage or interfere with satellites, communication and power grids.
Obtain up‐to‐date data for different related space weather concepts including sunspots, the solar wind, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and solar x-rays.