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Solar wind
speed: 529.5 km/sec
density: 6.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B8
2216 UT Jul10
24-hr: C1
1613 UT Jul10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Jul 15
The magnetic field of sunspot 2381 is decaying, and it no longer poses a threa for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 120
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 Jul 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%)

Updated 10 Jul 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 122 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 10 Jul 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 16.8 nT
Bz: 7.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Jul 15

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on July 11-12. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is underway. NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted the first noctilucent clouds over the Arctic Circle on May 19th.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 07-10-2015 15:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jul 10 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
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 Jul 10 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
25 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
30 %
25 %
55 %
50 %
Friday, Jul. 10, 2015
What's up in space

Come to Tromsø and share Marianne's passion for rural photography: invites you to experience "Heaven on Earth" with an aurora, fjord, fishing, whale watching, photography or sightseeing tour.

Chase the Light Tours

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: As predicted, a G1-class geomagnetic storm has broken out during the late hours of July 10th. The cause of the storm is an unsettled stream of solar wind, which is buffeting Earth's magnetic field now. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras, especially during the hours around local midnight. Aurora alerts: text or voice.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS OVER EUROPE: High above Europe, Earth's upper atmosphere has been very active this week. First, observers saw red sprites dancing across the tops of thunderstorms. And now a bright display of electric-blue noctilucent clouds (NLCs) is underway. Rayann Elzein sends this picture, taken just after nightfall on July 10th, from Nijmegen, The Netherlands:

"This was my second evening this week seeing NLCs in the Dutch sky!" says Elzein. "And tonight the clouds were infinitely brighter than earlier in the week. They also presented many more shapes and lasted longer." Similar reports are coming in from Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Slovakia.

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, they float at the edge of space more than 80 km above the planet's surface. The clouds are very cold and filled with tiny ice crystals. When sunbeams hit those crystals, they glow electric-blue.

Noctilucent clouds first appeared in the 19th century after the eruption of super-volcano Krakatoa. At the time, people thought NLCs were caused by the eruption, but long after Krakatoa's ash settled, the clouds remained. In recent years, NLCs have intensified and spread with summer sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This could be a sign of increasing greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.

Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

PLUTO IS NOT ALONE: New Horizons is now less than 3 days from Pluto. For years, the "dwarf" planet has been little more than a fuzzy blob in the eyepieces of distant telescopes. Not even the Hubble Space Telescope could see it clearly. Those days are over. On July 7th, New Horizons snapped this image of Pluto and its biggest moon Charon from a distance of only 5 million miles:

Neither Pluto nor Charon is a "fuzzy blob." Moreover, the crisp images reveal many interesting differences: The reddish materials that color Pluto seem to be completely absent on Charon. On Charon, only a dark polar region interrupts the light gray terrain.

"These two objects have been together for billions of years, in the same orbit, but they are totally different," says Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. Stern is the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission.

Charon is about 750 miles (1200 kilometers) across, about half the diameter of Pluto—making it the solar system's largest moon relative to its planet. "Charon is now emerging as its own world," adds John Spencer, another member of the science team at the SwRI. "Its personality is beginning to really reveal itself." 

On July 14th, when New Horizons makes its closest approach to the Pluto-Charon system, the images it beams back will have 500 times better resolution than we see today. Stay tuned!

Realtime Pluto Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery

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

On Jul. 10, 2015, the network reported 7 fireballs.
(6 sporadics, 1 beta Camelopardalid)

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 July 10, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 MO116
Jul 7
4.9 LD
67 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.1 LD
81 m
2015 NR2
Jul 9
10.7 LD
28 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.3 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
540 m
2013 BQ18
Jul 20
7.9 LD
38 m
1999 JD6
Jul 25
18.8 LD
1.6 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 6
76.5 LD
1.4 km
2005 JF21
Aug 16
20.1 LD
1.6 km
2004 BO41
Aug 31
57.3 LD
1.2 km
1991 CS
Sep 4
62.1 LD
1.4 km
2014 KS76
Sep 14
8.7 LD
22 m
2004 TR12
Sep 15
58.8 LD
1.0 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Columbia Northern High School
  Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
  more links...
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