Solar Data Services

Sun, solar activity and upper atmosphere data

We are interested in the sun because of the many influences it has on our lives and our environment. Aside from the many aspects of purely scientific research, there are numerous environmental influences caused by the sun. Beyond the obvious considerations of heat and light, some examples of these direct and indirect solar influences are the effects on short-wave radio communications, navigation, use of satellites for communication and navigation, hazards to humans and instruments in space, electrical power transmission, geomagnetic prospecting, gas pipeline monitoring, and possibly weather and human and animal behavior.

To see what the Sun is doing today, please visit the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center or the Lockheed Latest Solar Events. Other real time solar monitoring websites can be accessed from the International Space Environment Service website.

NOAA maintains a daily ground-based Solar UV Index for protection against skin cancer. The ozone layer shields the Earth from harmful UV radiation. Ozone depletion, as well as seasonal and weather variations, cause different amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth at any given time. Developed by the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the UV Index predicts the next day's ultraviolet radiation levels on a 1-11+ scale, helping people determine appropriate sun-protective behaviors.