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Solar wind
speed: 379.3 km/sec
density: 7.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2240 UT Apr17
24-hr: C3
1154 UT Apr17
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 17 Apr 14
Earth-facing sunspots AR2035, AR2036 and AR2037 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 245
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 17 Apr 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

Update
17 Apr 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 184 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 17 Apr 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.2 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 17 Apr 14
There are no large equatorial coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.

Spaceweather.com posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 02-28-2014 16:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Apr 17 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
60 %
60 %
CLASS X
10 %
10 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Apr 17 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
40 %
MINOR
05 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
25 %
55 %
 
Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014
What's up in space
 

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

 
Spaceweather Radio is on the air

EARTH-SIZED PLANET IN THE HABITABLE ZONE OF ANOTHER STAR: Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting in the "habitable zone" of another star. The planet, named "Kepler-186f" orbits an M dwarf, or red dwarf, a class of stars that makes up 70 percent of the stars in the Milky Way: full story.

THE TURQUOISE FRINGE: Lunar eclipses are supposed to be red, yet when the Moon passed through Earth's amber shadow on April 15th, many observers witnessed a softly-glowing band of turquoise blue. Robert and Elisabeth Slobins send this picture of the phenomenon from Fort Myers, Florida:

The source of the turquoise is ozone. Prof. Richard Keen, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Colorado explains: "During a lunar eclipse, most of the light illuminating the Moon passes through the stratosphere, and is reddened by scattering. However, light passing through the upper stratosphere penetrates the ozone layer, which absorbs red light and actually makes the passing light ray bluer!" This can be seen, he says, as a turquoise fringe around the red.

For years, Keen has been using lunar eclipses to probe the transparency of the stratosphere. When the stratosphere is clogged with volcanic ash and other aerosols, lunar eclipses tend to be dark red. The bright orange color of the April 15th eclipse, along with the ready visibility of the turquoise fringe, suggests that the stratosphere is clear. This is a key finding for climate change models.

To see the effects of ozone on the eclipse, you have to be looking at just the right moment. Readers are invited to browse the gallery for more examples:

Realtime Eclipse Photo Gallery

CHANCE OF M-CLASS FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-class flares today. The most likely source may be sunspot AR2035, which produced this M1-class eruption during the late hours of April 16th:

Watch the movie again. A dark plume of plasma leaps out of the blast site, and some it it left the sun in the form of a faint, Earth-directed CME. NOAA forecasters expect the storm cloud to reach Earth on April 19th around 1800 UT, possibly sparking geomagnetic storms. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Mars 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 Apr. 15, 2014, the network reported 13 fireballs.
(13 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 17, 2014 there were 1466 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2007 TV18
Apr 18
7.4 LD
88 m
2014 GG49
Apr 19
3.9 LD
31 m
2007 HB15
Apr 28
6.7 LD
12 m
2010 JO33
May 17
4 LD
43 m
2005 UK1
May 20
36.7 LD
1.1 km
1997 WS22
May 21
47.1 LD
1.5 km
2002 JC
May 24
48.7 LD
1.4 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.
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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