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Solar wind
speed: 560.0 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
1804 UT Mar08
24-hr: C9
0000 UT Mar08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Mar 15
Sunspot AR2297 poses a threat for strong M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 20
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Mar 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%)

Update 08 Mar 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 138 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Mar 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= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz: 1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 07 Mar 15

Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. 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
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Mar 08 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
40 %
40 %
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: 2015 Mar 08 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
30 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
30 %
SEVERE
45 %
40 %
 
Sunday, Mar. 8, 2015
What's up in space
 

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park.

 
Lapland tours

CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% to 45% chance of geomagnetic storms this weekend as a high-speed solar wind stream buffets Earth's magnetic field. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras on March 8-9. Aurora alerts: text, voice

STRONG SOLAR FLARE: Emerging sunspot AR2297 has erupted again, producing its strongest flare yet: an M9-class explosion on March 7th at 22:22 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash:

Radiation from the flare ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere on the dayside of the planet. This caused a moderate HF radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean. Mariners and hams operating at frequencies below 10 MHz woud likely have noticed disturbed and/or attenuated signals in the red zone of this NOAA blackout map:

There's more to this explosion than a solar flare. SOHO coronagraphs show a CME emerging from the blast site, as well: image. The cloud of plasma will probably miss Earth, but a glancing blow cannot yet be ruled out based on the limited data at hand.

More flares are in the offing. The magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2297 has been exploding at least once a day for the past three days, and there is no reason to expect a cessation. Stay tuned for solar activity. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

UNUSUAL HAM RADIO PROPAGATION: It may seem strange, but solar flares can be both good and bad for radio communications. It all depends on the frequency. Below 10 MHz, signals were strongly attenuated. At higher frequencies, however, the reflectivity of the ionosphere was increased, allowing improved over-the-horizon communications. Ham radio operator Bob MacKenzie of Ottawa, Canada, shares this anecdote: "Only minutes after the M9 flare on March 7th, I was able to work three amateur stations in Japan using just 5 watts of single-sideband power and a single-element vertical antenna in my backyard. It's a rare event to work Japan so easily with such little power on phone and not Morse code. The annual ARRL International DX Phone contest was on at the time so there were plenty of DX stations on the air, making this observation of unusual propagation possible." Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SPACE SEEDS: In late February, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus conducted an experiment in "space agriculture." Using a sub-orbital helium balloon, they flew a dozen varieties of garden vegatables and flowers to the edge of space. Here are three of the seed packets photographed at an altitude of 112,030 feet:

During their ascent to the stratosphere, these seeds (and 80 other packets not shown) experienced temperatures as low as -63 C, air pressures akin to those on the planet Mars, and cosmic ray dose rates 40x Earth-normal. While these "space seeds" were flying to the edge of space, identical control samples remained behind on Earth.

Students intend to plant the flown seeds side-by-side with control samples to investigate whether near-space travel affects the viability, color, size, taste or other characteristics of the plants.

Readers, would you like to grow your own space garden? For a small donation of $49.95 to Earth to Sky Calculus, you can have some of these space seeds for yourself. They make a great science fair project and, possibly, a unique meal! You may chose any two seed types from the following list: turnips, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, bell peppers, helichrysum flowers, jalapeno peppers, petunias, radishes, sunflowers, cosmos flowers, pumpkins, broccoli and carrots. We will send you flown+control packets for both of your selections. Contact Dr. Tony Phillips to place your order. All proceeds support student research.


Realtime Comet 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. 8, 2015, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(9 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 8, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 DK200
Mar 8
6.9 LD
30 m
2063 Bacchus
Apr 7
76 LD
1.6 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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