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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 514.3 km/sec
density: 4.4 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1940 UT Jun13
24-hr: B3
1940 UT Jun13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jun 17
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Jun 2017

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 4 days
2017 total: 42 days (25%)
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%)

Updated 13 Jun 2017


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Jun 2017

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: 4.5 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT north
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Jun 17

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on June 15-16. Credit: NASA/SDO.
Noctilucent Clouds NASA's AIM spacecraft, which monitors NLCs from space, recent moved into a new orbit around Earth. Daily data are currently unavailable while the spacecraft's pointing settles. Polar images should resume in early June. Stay tuned!
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-24-2017 17:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2017 Jun 13 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: 2017 Jun 13 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
30 %
MINOR
01 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
25 %
SEVERE
15 %
40 %
 
Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over lapland is excited to announce that Autumn Aurora Adventures are available for immediate booking! Reserve your adventure of a lifetime in Abisko National Park, Sweden today!

 

NASA PREPARES ARTIFICIAL CLOUD DISPLAY (UPDATED): Monday's launch of a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia was postponed because of weather. NASA plans to try again on Tuesday, June 13th. Sometime between 9:04 and 9:19 p.m. Eastern Time, the Terrier-Improved Malemute rocket will blast off and release a network of red and blue-green vapors more than 100 miles high. Tracking the motions of the colorful gases will help researchers study the dynamics of Earth's ionosphere. The vapor tracers may be visible from New York to North Carolina and westward to Charlottesville, Virginia. Free: Aurora Alerts

ANTARCTIC MOONDOGS: At Germany's Neumayer III Research Station in Antarctica, the polar night began on May 21st and no one has seen the sun in weeks. "Hence, I could not believe my eyes on June 12th when I opened the station's weather monitor and suddenly could see a sundog," reports Stefan Christmann, who is visiting as part of a BBC film crew working on a documentary about emperor penguins. "I quickly grabbed my camera, got dressed and ran outside." This is what he saw:

"In fact," he says, "it was a moondog--the lunar equivalent of a sundog."

As the waning full Moon rose behind the station, it shone through crystals of ice floating above the frozen terrain. These crystals bent and shaped the moonbeams into moondogs, a moon pillar and even an upper tangent arc.

"In combination with a clear and starry sky, this was quite the sight," says Christmann. "Antarctica is an awesome place, full of little miracles and incredible nature - this needed to be shared with every space weather enthusiast." (Agreed!)

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery\

FOR THE FATHER WHO HAS EVERYTHING: Yes, that really is a Vulcan rubber duck. The students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew the pointy-eared water bird to the stratosphere as part of their ongoing program to monitor cosmic rays, and you can have him for $79.95. He makes a great Father's Day gift:

"Mr Squawk" hitchhiked on a helium balloon payload that carried an array of X-ray/gamma-ray sensors. By launching these sensors 3 or 4 times a month, the students have shown that cosmic rays are intensifying--a trend that affects mountain climbers, air travelers, high-altitude drones and astronauts on the International Space Station.

This research is crowd funded. Would you like to support it? Buy a duck! Mr. Squawk comes with unique Father's Day card showing the duck 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 proceeds support hands-on STEM education

RADIO STORM ON JUPITER: On June 6th, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft pointed his shortwave radio telescope at Jupiter, which was shining brightly high overhead in the New Mexico night sky. Soon, the loudspeakers began to roar with strange-sounding swooshes of static. A Jovian radio storm was underway. Click to listen to a sample of the audio:

"This is a one minute long audio recording captured on two short wave radios tuned at 29.0 MHz and 29.5 MHz," explains Ashcraft. "The storm produced sustained emissions that lasted over two and a half hours."

Jupiter is a powerful source of shortwave radio bursts. They come from natural radio lasers in the giant planet's magnetosphere. Electrical currents flowing between Jupiter's upper atmosphere and the volcanic moon Io can boost these emissions to power levels easily detected by ham radio antennas on Earth. To learn more about radio storms on Jupiter, and how you can observe them yourself, visit NASA's RadioJove web site.



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 Jun. 13, 2017, the network reported 23 fireballs.
(23 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 June 13, 2017 there were 1803 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2017 HV4
2017-Jun-10
19.5 LD
3.9
50
2017 KF3
2017-Jun-11
12.9 LD
11.2
40
2010 VB1
2017-Jun-16
10.3 LD
8.3
81
471984
2017-Jun-18
19.1 LD
7.7
102
441987
2017-Jun-24
7.9 LD
12.7
178
2017 BS5
2017-Jul-23
3.1 LD
5.8
54
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

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. 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. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 13% since 2015:


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.

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.

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.

  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
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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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