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Solar wind
speed: 422.0 km/sec
density: 10.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2107 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
1527 UT Apr01
24-hr: B6
1527 UT Apr01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2100 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Apr 15
None of these sunspots has the type of unstable magnetic field that poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 53
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Apr 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)

Updated 01 Apr 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 128 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Apr 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 13.7 nT
Bz: 7.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2107 UT
Coronal Holes: 01 Apr 15

A stream of solar wind flowing from this equtorial coronal hole should reach Earth on April 3-4. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for NLCs has come to an end. The last clouds were observed by NASA's AIM spacecraft on Feb. 20, 2015. Now attention shifts to the northern hemisphere, where the first clouds of 2015 should appear in mid-May.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-28-2015 02:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Mar 31 2230 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2015 Mar 31 2230 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
20 %
35 %
10 %
Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2015
What's up in space

Come to Tromsø and share Marianne's passion for rural photography: invites you to experience "Heaven on Earth" with an aurora, fjord, fishing, whale watching, photography or sightseeing tour.

Chase the Light Tours

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON: On Saturday morning, April 4th, sky watchers in the USA can see a brief but beautiful total eclipse of the Moon. The event will also be visible from Mexico, western Canada, across the entire Pacific Ocean, Australia, Indonesia, and elsewhere. View an animated eclipse map from

BIG SOLAR PROMINENCES: The face of the sun is quiet; no sunspots are flaring. The edge of the sun is a different matter. Amateur astronomers are monitoring a network of huge prominences rising above the sun's western limb. Bill Hrudey sends this picture from the Cayman Islands:

"I used a Lunt solar telescope to photograph these interesting prominences," says Hrudey.

Prominences are massive plumes of hot plasma held above the surface of the sun by magnetic force fields. Frequently, these magnetic fields become unstable and erupt, hurling billions of tons of hot gas into space. Got a solar telescope? Monitoring is encouraged.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

FORBUSH DECREASE: For the second time in two weeks, a Forbush Decrease is underway. In other words, the number of cosmic rays around Earth is down. Note the sudden drop in counts on April 1st in these data from the neutron monitor in Oulu, Finland:

Forbush decreases happen when CMEs sweep past Earth and push aside cosmic rays that normally surround our planet. A CME that hit Earth on March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, triggered the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle. The corresponding Forbush Decrease lasted for days. The Forbush Decrease of April 1st probably won't be as deep or long-lasting. It was caused by a minor interplanetary shock wave that swept past Earth on March 31st; the shock wave's impact was weak and did not even spark a geomagnetic storm. Nevertheless, it did cause a reduction in cosmic rays.

To investigate the Forbush Decrease, later today and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus will launch a "Space Weather Buoy" (suborbital helium balloon) with 4 radiation sensors. We will see if radiation levels in the stratosphere are tracking the ground-based neutron monitor counts. The balloon flight will also probe the effect of the Forbush Decrease at aviation altitudes. Stay tuned.

SOLAR WIND STREAMS--HITS AND MISSES: A solar wind stream expected to hit Earth on March 29-30 has apparently missed. It likely sailed south of our planet. The good news for sky watchers is, another one is on the way. It is flowing from this gaping coronal hole on the sun:

Image credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory

Coronal holes are places in the sun's atmosphere where the magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. In the extreme UV image, above, curved lines trace the sun's magnetic field; arrows indicate the flow of gaseous material (solar wind) out of the deep-purple coronal hole.

Because this coronal hole crosses the sun's equator, the solar wind it spews is likely to hit Earth squarely--no misses, this time. ETA: April 2nd or 3rd. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Eclipse Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network

Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics. Daily results are presented here on

On Apr. 1, 2015, the network reported 50 fireballs.
(50 sporadics)

In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]

  Near Earth Asteroids
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.
On April 1, 2015 there were 1569 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 YB35
Mar 27
11.6 LD
715 m
2015 FH37
Mar 27
8.9 LD
46 m
2015 FM118
Mar 28
0.9 LD
8 m
2015 FP
Mar 28
9.6 LD
40 m
2015 FF36
Mar 28
3.5 LD
22 m
2015 FT117
Mar 28
2.8 LD
9 m
2015 FA285
Mar 31
6.4 LD
22 m
2015 FW117
Apr 1
3.6 LD
122 m
2015 FW284
Apr 1
11.5 LD
49 m
2015 CW13
Apr 3
13.5 LD
108 m
2015 FK120
Apr 5
5.8 LD
16 m
2015 FN33
Apr 6
9.8 LD
25 m
2063 Bacchus
Apr 7
76 LD
1.6 km
2005 KA
Apr 12
13 LD
50 m
5381 Sekhmet
May 17
62.8 LD
2.1 km
Notes: LD means "Lunar Distance." 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU. MAG is the visual magnitude of the asteroid on the date of closest approach.
  Essential web links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
  The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
  The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...

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©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.

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