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Solar wind
speed: 534.0 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1714 UT Sep13
24-hr: C3
1254 UT Sep13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Sept 14
Sunspots AR2157 and AR2158 pose a continued threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 157
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Sep 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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 12
Sep 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 151 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Sep 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.1 nT
Bz: 7.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Sep 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts 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: 09-02-2014 12:55:12
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Sep 13 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
65 %
65 %
25 %
25 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Sep 13 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
15 %
20 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
50 %
25 %
Saturday, Sep. 13, 2014
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

SERVICE OUTAGE: On Sept. 12th, was offline for more than 12 hours during the most intense geomagnetic storm of the year. Ironically, the outage was not caused by solar activity. A hardware failure in the network of our Internet service provider brought the web site down at the worst possible time. Webmaster Dr. Tony Phillips apologizes to our readers, alert subscribers, and advertisers for the outage. We are taking steps to make sure this cannot happen again.

DOUBLE CME IMPACT SPARKS GEOMAGNETIC STORM: As predicted, a pair of CMEs hit Earth's magnetic field in quick succession on Sept. 11th and 12th. The result was a G3-class geomagnetic storm, the most intense of the year so far. At the peak of the storm on Sept 12-13, bright auroras ringed the Arctic Circle and spilled down over several northern-tier US states. The sky over Maine exploded in a rainbow of colors:

"I took the picture from Casco, Maine, facing north towards the Presidential Range in New Hampshire," says photographer John Stetson. "Red, purple, green, blue--all the colors were there!"

The storm is subsiding now. Nevertheless, high-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. NOAA forecasters estimate a whopping 90% chance of additional polar geomagetic activity on Sept. 13th as Earth passes through the wake of the double CME. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SPACE WEATHER PROBE LAUNCHED: While the web site was down during the most intense geomagnetic storm of the year, the webmaster shook off the stress by going outside ... and launching a space weather probe. Carried aloft by a helium balloon, the probe was prepared and released by the students of Earth to Sky Calculus just as the planetary K-index hit 7during the waning hours of Sept. 12th:

Inside the balloon's payload, there was a high-energy radiation sensor, a cryogenic thermometer, multiple GPS altimeters and trackers, and three cameras to record the flight. The launch was the latest in an ongoing series of suborbital balloon flights to measure the effect of stormy space weather on Earth's atmosphere from ground level to the stratosphere. Soon, the group will release an entire year's worth of data of interest to commercial aviation and space tourism.

After a 2.5 hour flight, the payload has parachuted back to Earth and landed in the Inyo Mountains of central California. A student team will recover the payload and its sensors this weekend. Stay tuned.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet 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 Sep. 13, 2014, the network reported 253 fireballs.
(250 sporadics, 3)

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 September 13, 2014 there were 1500 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 RJ11
Sep 8
3 LD
15 m
2013 RZ53
Sep 9
1.9 LD
3 m
2002 CE26
Sep 9
47.9 LD
1.8 km
2009 RR
Sep 16
2 LD
34 m
2006 GQ2
Sep 19
65.9 LD
1.1 km
2009 FG19
Sep 26
34.6 LD
1.1 km
2014 NE52
Sep 30
61.2 LD
1.1 km
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 km
2011 TB4
Oct 9
5.8 LD
34 m
2003 UC20
Oct 31
52.4 LD
1.0 km
2004 JN13
Nov 18
52.4 LD
4.1 km
1998 SS49
Nov 18
73.9 LD
3.2 km
2005 UH3
Nov 22
44.4 LD
1.3 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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