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Solar wind
speed: 273.0 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1921 UT Sep28
24-hr: B6
1205 UT Sep28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Sep 13
None of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 54
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Sep 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update
28 Sep 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Sep 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.5 nT
Bz: 0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Sep 13
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.

Spaceweather.com is now posting 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: 09-02-2013 11:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Sep 28 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: 2013 Sep 28 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
25 %
SEVERE
10 %
25 %
 
Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013
What's up in space
 

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

 
Northern Lights - a Guide

WEAK MAX: The weakest Solar Max in 100 years continues today with another 24 hours of quiet. None of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun are actively flaring. NOAA forecasters estimate a scant 1% chance of M- or X-class solar flares. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

OHIO FIREBALL: Last night, a meteor exploded in the skies above the US midwest. Witnesses report shadows cast upon the ground, unusual sounds, and a swirling contrail marking the aftermath of the blast. A NASA all-sky camera in Hiram, Ohio, recorded the fireball at 11:33 pm EDT:

"This was a very bright event," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "Flares saturated our meteor cameras, and made determination of the end point (the terminus of the fireball's flight through the atmosphere) virtually impossible. Judging from the brightness, we are dealing with a meter class object."

Data from multiple cameras shows that the meteoroid hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 51 km/s (114,000 mph) and passed almost directly over Columbus, Ohio. Cooke has prepared a preliminary map of the ground track. According to the American Meteor Society, the fireball was visible from at least 14 US states.

Stay tuned for updates about this event.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

COMET ISON APPROACHES MARS: In two months, Comet ISON will make a spectacular flyby of the sun. First, though, it has to fly by Mars. The sungrazing comet is approaching the Red Planet for a 0.07 AU close encounter on October 1st. Mars satellites and rovers will have a close-up view. A video from NASA details the encounter.

Amateur astronomers on Earth can watch, too. Using a remotely controlled 14-inch telescope in New Mexico, Rolando Ligustri photographed ISON approaching Mars on September 28th:

At closest approach on October 1st, Mars and Comet ISON will be approximately 2o apart. While Mars is visible to the unaided eye (it shines almost as brightly as a first-magnitude star), ISON is definitely not. The comet is still far from the sun and, as it crosses the orbit of Mars, it has not yet warmed enough to reach naked-eye visibility. Reports of the comet's brightness vary from 12th to 14th magnitude, which means a mid-sized backyard telescope is required to see it.

Mars and ISON rise together in the eastern sky a couple of hours before the sun. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. Visually, Mars will be easy to find on the mornings of closest approach, not only because the planet is relatively bright, but also because the crescent Moon will be passing right by it. Sky maps: Sept. 28, 29, 30; Oct. 1, 2.

New images of the comet are coming in every day. Browse the gallery for the latest views:

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery

EQUINOX AURORAS: For reasons reseachers don't fully understand, auroras love equinoxes. At this time of year, even small gusts of solar wind can spark colorful lights around the poles. Last night, these green auroras appeared over Kvaløya Island near Tromsø, Norway:

"Because of the nice and warm north Scandinavian autumn, no lakes and ponds are frozen this year," says photographer Anne Birgitte Fyhn. "So tonight Jupiter, Castor and Pollux accompanied the auroras reflecting in this little lake."

The solar wind blowing past Earth today is relatively slow, only ~280 km/s. As a result, NOAA forecasters estimate a slim 10% chance of polar geomagnetic storms over the weekend. That might be enough, however, for more equinox auroras. Stay tuned. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 September 28, 2013 there were 1429 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 SP19
Sep 21
1.8 LD
7 m
2013 SK20
Sep 29
2.3 LD
15 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49.1 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 13
8.2 LD
57 m
2001 AV43
Nov 18
3 LD
52 m
2010 CL19
Nov 25
37.6 LD
1.3 km
2013 NJ
Nov 26
2.5 LD
190 m
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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