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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 451.8 km/sec
density: 5.7 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2050 UT Mar03
24-hr: A0
2050 UT Mar03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Mar 19
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Mar 2019

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 31 days
2019 total: 46 days (74%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
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%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 03 Mar 2019


Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 3.98
x1010 W Cold
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Mar 2019

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 69 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Mar 2019

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.8 nT
Bz: -2.7 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Mar 19


Earth is surfing a patchy network of solar wind streams flowing from these coronal holes.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) is ending. NASA's AIM spacecraft is detecting a sharp decline in electric blue clouds at the edge of space over Antarctica.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 03-02-2019 16:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2019 Mar 03 2200 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: 2019 Mar 03 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
15 %
15 %
 
Sunday, Mar. 3, 2019
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over Lapland has a brand-new website full of exciting adventures in Abisko National Park, Sweden! Take a look at our aurora activities and book your once-in-a-lifetime trip with us today!

 

A PATCHY NETWORK OF SOLAR WIND STREAMS: Earth is exiting a stream of solar wind that caused minor geomagnetic storms and bright Arctic auroras from Feb. 28th through March 2nd. A new stream could arrive as early as ... today. Our planet will be dipping in and out of a patchy network of solar wind streams until March 5th, according to NOAA analysts. Aurora Alerts: SMS text, email.

ZODIACAL LIGHTS: Tonight, when the sun does down and the glow of sunset fades away, another glow will take its place--the Zodiacal Lights.  They stretch upward from the western horizon forming a pale luminous triangle visible from places with exceptionally dark skies. Ruslan Merzlyakov photographed them on Feb. 23rd from Hjørring, Denmark:

"Absolutely incredible evening by the coast with, probably, brightest Zodiacal Lights I have ever seen--and explosion-shaped clouds!" says Merzlyakov.

When you see Zodiacal Lights, you've seen the backbone of our solar system. Zodiacal Lights are sunlight reflected from interplanetary dust. The pale glow traces the dusty plane through which all planets orbit, known to astronomers as the ecliptic plane. February, March and April are the best months to see evening Zodiacal Lights because the ecliptic plane juts over the horizon almost vertically.

Because Zodiacal Lights are faint, moonlight easily overwhelms them. Nights around the New Moon, therefore, favor their visibility. The next New Moons are due on March 6th and April 5th. Mark those dates on your calendar and label them "Zodiacal Lights."

Realtime Zodiacal Light Photo Gallery

THE MOON, ENCASED IN CRYSTAL: On August 16, 2018, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a cosmic ray balloon to the stratosphere. This unique laser-etched Moon cube went along for the ride, ascending to an altitude of 101,140 feet:

You can have it for $119.95. The students are selling these cubes as a fund-raiser for their cosmic ray ballooning program. It's an authentic representation of the Moon, with all of the craters, mountains and lava plains accurately portrayed.

Each Moon-cube comes with a unique gift card showing the item floating at the top of Earth's atmosphere. The interior of the card tells the story of the flight and confirms that this gift has been to the edge of space and back again.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education


Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 Mar. 2, 2019, the network reported 17 fireballs.
(17 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 March 3, 2019 there were 1967 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2019 DB1
2019-Feb-25
12.2 LD
22.4
37
2019 CJ
2019-Feb-25
7.4 LD
4.8
30
2019 CF4
2019-Feb-26
15.6 LD
3.7
14
2019 DM1
2019-Feb-26
1.3 LD
17.7
10
2019 DS1
2019-Feb-26
1.9 LD
10.4
27
2019 DF
2019-Feb-26
0.5 LD
15.1
4
2019 DE
2019-Feb-27
17.7 LD
7.2
23
2018 DE1
2019-Feb-27
19.8 LD
6.5
28
2016 FU12
2019-Feb-27
15.4 LD
5.2
15
2019 DO
2019-Mar-01
5 LD
12.3
29
2019 DD
2019-Mar-01
7.5 LD
10.3
15
2019 DN1
2019-Mar-02
1.5 LD
11.7
6
2019 CT4
2019-Mar-02
6 LD
12.1
46
2019 DT1
2019-Mar-03
17.4 LD
8
18
2019 DG1
2019-Mar-03
4.8 LD
7.2
17
2019 DX
2019-Mar-03
3.8 LD
12.6
15
2019 DM
2019-Mar-03
7 LD
12.2
48
2019 CX4
2019-Mar-04
18.5 LD
6.9
31
2019 DQ1
2019-Mar-04
11.4 LD
7.6
32
2019 CW
2019-Mar-04
19.2 LD
11.6
61
2015 EG
2019-Mar-04
1.2 LD
9.6
26
2019 DC
2019-Mar-05
10.9 LD
9.2
20
2019 DL1
2019-Mar-05
9.5 LD
4.4
18
2019 DA1
2019-Mar-06
3.6 LD
12.5
23
2019 DN
2019-Mar-08
13.5 LD
7.3
119
2012 DF31
2019-Mar-09
9.3 LD
15.1
47
2019 CM4
2019-Mar-11
13.8 LD
12.1
90
2019 DH
2019-Mar-11
7.6 LD
10.6
39
2019 DJ1
2019-Mar-12
4 LD
3.8
15
2013 EG68
2019-Mar-13
19.3 LD
17
37
2012 VZ19
2019-Mar-13
7.7 LD
8
27
2019 DH1
2019-Mar-18
8.6 LD
5.1
21
2019 CL2
2019-Mar-18
10.2 LD
7.5
74
2019 CD5
2019-Mar-20
10.1 LD
17
135
2019 DS
2019-Mar-21
17.3 LD
8.9
37
2016 GE1
2019-Apr-04
3.9 LD
10.1
17
2014 UR
2019-Apr-09
13 LD
4.6
17
2016 GW221
2019-Apr-09
10.1 LD
5.3
39
2012 XO134
2019-Apr-18
14.8 LD
11
56
522684
2019-Apr-19
19 LD
11.5
214
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

SOMETHING NEW! We have developed a new predictive model of aviation radiation. It's called E-RAD--short for Empirical RADiation model. We are constantly flying radiation sensors onboard airplanes over the US and and around the world, so far collecting more than 22,000 gps-tagged radiation measurements. Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.

E-RAD lets us do something new: Every day we monitor approximately 1400 flights criss-crossing the 10 busiest routes in the continental USA. Typically, this includes more than 80,000 passengers per day. E-RAD calculates the radiation exposure for every single flight.

The Hot Flights Table is a daily summary of these calculations. It shows the 5 charter flights with the highest dose rates; the 5 commercial flights with the highest dose rates; 5 commercial flights with near-average dose rates; and the 5 commercial flights with the lowest dose rates. Passengers typically experience dose rates that are 20 to 70 times higher than natural radiation at sea level.

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

En route to the stratosphere, our sensors also pass through aviation altitudes:

In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

  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
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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