In 1958, a simple Geiger counter attached to a primitive rocket made a startling discovery: Space is radioactive! Hailed as the first major discovery of the space era, it was soon realised that this observation was intimately related a number of other puzzles. The melodious whistling tones that were sometimes heard on long wire antennae when they were attached to a loudspeaker and the bewildering events reported a century prior where telegraph wires began to generate their own electric currents. It was possible to read a newspaper by the light of the bright red aurora, even as close to the equator as Cuba. In this talk, Dr Bortnik will briefly explain some of the background and history of space weather, and discuss a few of the questions that continue to elude space physicists today. Particular attention will be paid to results from the recently launched Van Allen Probes, which are recording in unprecedented detail the Earth's radiation environment as the Sun awakens from its long and deep solar minimum.