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Solar wind
speed: 378.0 km/sec
density: 2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
2223 UT Oct01
24-hr: B6
0253 UT Oct01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Oct 13
All of these sunspots are quiet--no flares. Sunspot AR1855 is growing rapidly, however. It could become a source of eruptions if its development continues. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 42
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Oct 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
01 Oct 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 105 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Oct 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.3 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 01 Oct 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 Oct 01 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 Oct 01 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
45 %
35 %
MINOR
25 %
30 %
SEVERE
05 %
10 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
65 %
65 %
 
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 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

COMET ISON FLYBY OF MARS: Today, October 1st, Comet ISON will fly by Mars at a distance of only 0.07 AU. Red Planet satellites and rovers have a ringside seat for the flyby, and they will be snapping pictures despite a shutdown of the US government. (Apparently, Curiosity has been designated "essential personnel.") Scroll past the Magnificent Eruption for more information.

INCOMING CME, CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of polar geomanetic storms on Oct. 2nd when a CME is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. SOHO photographed the CME leaving the sun on Sept. 30th traveling 900 km/s (2 million mph):

The CME was hurled into space by the eruption of a magnetic filament from the sun's northern hemisphere. One movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the event in the context of the whole sun. Another movie zooms in for a closeup. It shows the filament ripping through the sun's atmosphere and leaving behind a beautiful "canyon of fire."

Forecasters expect the CME to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetosphere, sparking G1- to G2-class geomagnetic storms around the poles. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Oct. 2nd and 3rd. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

COMET ISON'S FLYBY OF MARS: In two months, Comet ISON will make a spectacular flyby of the sun. First, though, it has to fly by Mars. Today, the comet is passing by the Red Planet only 0.07 AU (10.5 million km) away. This is giving Mars satellites and rovers our first close-up view of the sungrazer: video.

Amateur astronomers on Earth are watching the close encounter from afar. This photo from Malcolm Park of Oak Heights, Ontario, shows the location of the comet relative to Mars just before sunrise on Sept. 29th:

At closest approach, 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 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: 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

OHIO FIREBALL: On Sept. 27th, 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. "It was the most brilliant fireball that I have ever seen!" reports Angela McClain, who sends this picture from Faith Ranch in Jewett, Ohio:

"The entire landscape lit up," she continues. "I spun around and there it was, a huge, bright green light, streaking across the sky. Even when it was gone, there was still a bright line in the sky about 20 seconds later. We were all stunned."

A NASA all-sky camera in Hiram, Ohio, also recorded the fireball: movie.

"This was a very bright event," says 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.


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 October 1, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 SK20
Sep 29
2.3 LD
15 m
2013 SU24
Oct 5
5.1 LD
54 m
2013 SC21
Oct 7
8.8 LD
45 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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