New frontier in space weather forecasting opens today
Issued: Thursday, 6 October 2022
The Bureau of Meteorology's Australian Space Weather Forecasting Centre was formally opened by the Minister for Environment and Water in Adelaide today.
The centre will deliver 24/7 space weather forecasting and warning services to support Australia's space industry understand, prepare for and respond to space weather events.
Space weather affects communications, GPS, energy supply, aviation and other critical infrastructure.
The Bureau's expansion of its space weather capability will improve industry's and governments' understanding of space weather events and the impacts on Australia's security and Australians' lives.
Dr Kate Brand, Operations Manager at the Bureau's Australian Space Weather Forecasting Centre, said space weather is principally driven by the Sun.
"The Sun's turbulent activity is the main source of space weather. Solar events that cause space weather impact include solar flares, coronal mass ejections and particle radiation events. As our reliance on technology grows, so does the risk of disruption to our lives from these events."
The Australian Space Weather Forecasting Centre is based at Lot Fourteen in Adelaide, alongside 80 other space industry agencies and businesses. The Bureau collaborates closely with its industry and government partners to devise, refine and deliver real-time services to those who need it most.
"From our forecasting centre in Adelaide, we can predict how events on the Sun might affect us here on Earth, 150 million kilometres away."
The Bureau's space weather forecasts, warnings and observations are available on its website alongside its Earth-based products that Australians rely on every day www.bom.gov.au