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Solar wind
speed: 436.4 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1731 UT Mar03
24-hr: B6
0303 UT Mar03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Mar 13
New sunspot AR1683 poses a slim threat for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 90
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Mar 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
03 Mar 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Mar 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Mar 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about March 7th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Mar 03 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: 2013 Mar 03 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
40 %
25 %
 
Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013
What's up in space
 

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

 
Venus Transit metal posters

SOLAR CYCLE UPDATE: Something unexpected is happening on the sun. 2013 is supposed to be the year of Solar Max, but solar activity is lower than expected. At least one leading forecaster expects the sun to rebound with a double-peaked maximum later this year. [video] [full story]

BRIGHT COMET PAN-STARRS: Comet Pan-STARRS (C/2011 L4) is now inside the orbit of Mercury, brightening as it plunges toward the sun. Observers in the southern hemisphere report say they can see Pan-STARRS with the unaided eye in the evening sunset sky. Carl Gruber photographed the comet on March 2nd over the city lights of Melbourne, Australia:


Photo details: Canon 50D, 140mm, f4.0, ISO1600, 3.2s exposure

"Despite bad light and smog pollution, the comet's nucleus was clearly visible to the naked eye as well as a small part of the tail," says Gruber. Light curves show the comet is approaching 2nd magnitude, about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper.

Several important dates are approaching. On March 5th, Comet Pan-STARRS makes its closest approach to Earth (1.09 AU), followed on March 10th by its closest approach to the sun (0.3 AU). As Comet Pan-STARRS passes the sun, solar glare will make it difficult to see even as the nucleus vaporizes and brightens. By March 12th and 13th, the comet will reappear in the sunset skies of the northern hemisphere not far from the crescent Moon; think photo-op! Check the realtime comet gallery for the latest images.

More about Comet Pan-STARRS: NASA video, 3D orbit, ephemeris, light curves.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

SDO ECLIPSE SEASON BEGINS: Twice every year, around the time of the equinoxes, Earth can pass directly between the Sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), producing a series of beautiful eclipses from the point of view of the spacecraft. SDO's vernal eclipse season began this weekend, producing a partial blackout of the sun:

During the eclipse, which was centered around 0715 UT on March 3rd, Earth covered about half of the sun. Because these eclipses typically last for only minutes each day (maximum=72 minutes), there is still plenty of uninterrupted time for SDO to monitor activity on the sun. The ongoing eclipse season will end in approximately three weeks. Between now and then, stay tuned for some rare blackouts. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCES: A high-speed solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field on Feb. 28th and March 1st, sparking bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. The sight of bright green lights overhead prompted some onlookers to do unusual things in the snow:

"I can honestly say I've never seen anyone do The Pyramid under the Northern Lights before," says veteran aurora photographer Ronn Murray of Fairbanks, Alaska. "[On March 1st], I headed up to the top of Murphy Dome with this incredibly fun tour group. We had a blast making portraits under the aurora. The clouds would eventually take over, but we made the most of the show while it lasted."

The display is subsiding, but it's not over yet. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on March 3rd as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather 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 March 3, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 DS9
Feb 24
8.7 LD
24 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2013 EB
Feb 28
1 LD
16 m
2013 EC
Mar 4
1 LD
13 m
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 km
2010 GM23
Apr 13
3.9 LD
50 m
2005 NZ6
Apr 29
24.9 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr 30
74.3 LD
1.1 km
2004 BV102
May 25
69.9 LD
1.4 km
1998 QE2
May 31
15.2 LD
2.2 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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