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Solar wind
speed: 390.0 km/sec
density: 2.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1459 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
0935 UT May03
24-hr: C1
0605 UT May03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1400 UT
Daily Sun: 02 May 15
Sunspot AR2335, the only sunspot on the solar disk, has a simple magnetic field that poses no threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 25
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 May 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 02 May 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 100 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 May 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
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.1 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1459 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 May 15

Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on ~May 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:
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 May 02 2310 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
01 %
01 %
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 May 02 2310 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
 
Sunday, May. 3, 2015
What's up in space
 

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

 
Chase the Light Tours

QUIET, NOT BORING: For the past few days, the sun has been very quiet. Quiet, however, doesn't mean boring. Low solar activity can have a huge effect on Earth. During periods of sustained quiet, cosmic rays increase, space junk accumulates, and the ionosphere collapses. To learn more about the surpising potency of the spotless sun, read "The Solar Cycle Turned Sideways." Solar flare alerts: text, voice

THE NEPAL EARTHQUAKE AND SPACE WEATHER: High above Earth, more than 60 km above sea level, there is a layer of our planet's atmosphere called "the ionosphere." It is where UV radiation from the sun strips electrons away from the atoms of normal air, creating a zone of charged gas that envelopes the globe.

The ionosphere is very sensitive to solar storms. Turns out, it can be sensitive to earthquakes, too. NASA is reporting that the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on April 25th created waves of energy that penetrated the ionosphere and disturbed the distribution of electrons. Note the wave pattern, circled, in the upper panel of this ionospheric electron density plot:

Basically, these are waves of electron density rippling from a point in the ionosphere above the epicenter of the quake. The waves were measured by a science-quality GPS receiver in Lhasa, Tibet. It took about 21 minutes for the waves to travel 400 miles between the epicenter and the GPS receiving station.

The bottom panel of the plot is a "dynamic spectrum." Note the hot spots outlined in black. They show that the ionosphere was ringing with periods of ~2 and ~8 minutes. Presumably, these "tones" are related to atmospheric pressure waves billowing up from the trembling Earth below.

The ionosphere is the stage upon which much of space weather plays out. Auroras, meteors, and noctilucent clouds all occur there. The "Ionosphere Natural Hazards Team" at JPL studies how Earth itself affects this stage via earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. You can read their report about the Nepal earthquake here.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

MICROBES TRAVEL TO THE EDGE OF SPACE, CRASH-LAND: In an ongoing series of high-altitude balloon flights, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been stress-testing halobacteria, an extremophile with an appetite for salt and UV rays. Here are some samples on April 28th, more than 100,000 feet above Earth's surface, absorbing 40x more cosmic radiation than control samples back home:

Repeatedly, the students have cultured these microbes and found that near-space flight agrees with them. For instance, the pink film in this petri dish are colonies of flown halobacteria, thriving post-flight.

Now, however, the students have found something that halobacteria cannot survive. A crash landing:

Two of the three test tubes shattered when they came down on a bed of sharp volcanic rock in the foothills of California's White Mountains. Talk about an unlucky break.

The test tubes were carrying microbes that had been aloft before--part of an experiment to see if halobacteria can survive multiple trips to the stratosphere. This is of interest to astrobiologists because conditions in Earth's stratosphere (temperature, pressure and radiation) are remarkably similar to the surface of Mars. If halobacteria can survive 100,000 feet above Earth, they might be able to survive on the Red Planet, too.

Now the payload is being re-designed to improve the cushioning of the test tubes, and soon a new batch of microbes will be flown to reboot and resume the research. After all, you can't keep a good extremophile down....

HOW DO WE PAY FOR THIS? All of the high-altitude balloon research featured on Spaceweather.com is crowd-funded, mainly by ordinary people and small businesses. The April 28th flight, for instance, was sponsored by a sail-cloth company in Hawaii. They donated $500 and, in return, we flew their logo to the edge of space: image. Would you like to become a sponsor? Contact Dr Tony Phillips for details.

Realtime Aurora 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 Spaceweather.com.

On May. 2, 2015, the network reported 16 fireballs.
(14 sporadics, 2 eta Aquariids)

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 May 3, 2015 there were 1575 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 GB14
Apr 28
9 LD
36 m
2015 HD10
Apr 29
1.6 LD
22 m
2015 HS11
May 1
7.1 LD
16 m
2015 HQ171
May 2
1.2 LD
18 m
2015 HL171
May 2
8.8 LD
61 m
5381 Sekhmet
May 17
62.8 LD
2.1 km
2015 HT9
May 25
12.2 LD
24 m
2005 XL80
Jun 4
38.1 LD
1.0 km
2012 XB112
Jun 11
10.1 LD
2 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.4 LD
65 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
 
 
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