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Solar wind
speed: 291.5 km/sec
density: 1.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2048 UT Jan19
24-hr: C3
2048 UT Jan19
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 19 Jan 15
Not one of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 78
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 Jan 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 19 Jan 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 126 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 19 Jan 2015

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: 6.7 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
Coronal Holes: 19 Jan 15
A Solar wind flowing from these minor coronal holes will buffet Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 20-22. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds As of Nov. 22, 2014, the season for southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds is underway. The south polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 01-19-2015 17:55:04
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jan 19 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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 Jan 19 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
25 %
25 %
 
Monday, Jan. 19, 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

QUIET SUN: With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun's X-ray output has flatlined. The quiet is likely to continue on Jan. 19-20. NOAA forecasters estimate a scant 5% chance of M-class flares and no more than a 1% chance of X-flares. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

COSMIC BLUES: This week, bright Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is passing by the Pleiades, creating a photogenic conjunction for astrophotographers. The sinuous tail of the comet is on the very doorstep of the Seven Sisters. Alan Dyer, author of "How to Shoot Nightscapes and Timelapses," took this picture on Jan. 18th from a remote corner of New Mexico:

"Lovejoy's long blue ion tail stretched back well past the Pleiades, a distance of at least 12°," says Dyer. "I shot this image from the dark skies of City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico, which has proven to be one of the finest places on the planet for watching the comet!"

Many observers have noted the similar colors of the Pleiades and the comet's tail. Both are a beautiful shade of cosmic blue. Despite their similar appearance, however, the two blues come from different physics. The comet's tail is blue because it contains ionized carbon monoxide (CO+), a gas which fluoresces blue in the near-vacuum of interplanetary space. The nebulosity surrounding the Pleiades is blue because grains of interstellar dust embedded in the gas scatter the blue light of hot young stars at the cluster's core.

Need help finding the comet? Check these finder charts from Sky & Telescope. Also, the Minor Planet Center has published an ephemeris for accurate pointing of telescopes.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

ECLIPSES AND TRANSITS ON JUPITER: Jupiter and Earth are converging for a (relatively) close encounter in early February when the giant planet is at opposition--that is, directly opposite the sun in the midnight sky. This sets the stage for an extraordinary sequence of events. For the next couple of months, backyard sky watchers can see the moons of Jupiter executing a complex series of mutual eclipses and transits. Astrophotographer "Shiraishi" Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, Japan, captured this example on Jan. 17th:

"First, Ganymede partially eclipsed Callisto; then Europa partially eclipsed Io," says Shiraishi. "I did not need a telescope. To photograph this double mutual event, I used a Nikon Coolpix P510 digital camera set at ISO 800 for a series of 1/10s exposures."

The moons of Jupiter will be passing in front of one another and in front of Jupiter with fair frequency through March 2015 and beyond. This is happening because Jupiter's opposition on Feb. 6th coincides almost perfectly with its equinox on Feb. 5th (when the Sun crosses Jupiter's equatorial plane). It is an edge-on apparition of the giant planet that lends itself to eclipses, occultations and transits.

The next big event is right around the corner. On Jan. 24, 2015, beginning at approximately 06:26 UT (1:26 AM EST), the three moons Io, Callisto and Europa will simultaneously cast their inky shadows on Jupiter's cloudtops. This is called a "triple shadow transit," and it is rare. The timing favors observers in North America where the planet will be shining high in the sky in the constellation Leo. Anyone with a backyard telescope is encouraged to watch this easy-to-observe event. (Advice: Start watching at least 30 minutes ahead of time.)

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 Jan. 19, 2015, 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 January 19, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
1991 VE
Jan 17
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2015 AK1
Jan 18
5.6 LD
50 m
2015 BC
Jan 20
1.6 LD
62 m
2015 BF
Jan 25
9.3 LD
19 m
2004 BL86
Jan 26
3.1 LD
680 m
2015 AK45
Jan 26
4.7 LD
22 m
2008 CQ
Jan 31
4.8 LD
36 m
2015 AZ43
Feb 15
7.7 LD
87 m
2000 EE14
Feb 27
72.5 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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