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Solar wind
speed: 337.8 km/sec
density: 4.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2009 UT Nov15
24-hr: M1
0229 UT Nov15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Nov 13
Sunspot AR1897 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Sunspot complex AR1893-1900 is growing rapidly. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 234
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Nov 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
15 Nov 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 176 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 15 Nov 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: 6.7 nT
Bz: 6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 15 Nov 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 17-18. 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 Nov 15 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
60 %
60 %
CLASS X
15 %
15 %
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 Nov 15 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
25 %
SEVERE
45 %
30 %
 
Friday, Nov. 15, 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

RARE DOUBLE-COMET FLYBY OF MERCURY: NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is about to get a close-up view of Comet ISON's outburst. On Nov. 18-19 Comet ISON and Comet Encke both will fly by Mercury, the planet MESSENGER is orbiting. You can learn more about this rare double-comet flyby and what MESSENGER might see in a video from Science@NASA.

COMET ISON OUTBURST CONTINUES: The abrupt brightening of Comet ISON on Nov. 14th has pushed the comet into the range of naked eye visibility. Dark-sky observers around the world report seeing it with their unaided eyes on the morning of Nov. 15th. To the human eye, ISON is just a faint smudge of magnitude +5.5. Backyard telescopes are revealing much more. The effects of the outburst have propagated into the comet's suddenly riotous tail, as shown in this image taken on the morning of Nov. 15th by Damian Peach:

"It's hard to believe this is the same comet I photographed on Nov. 10th," says Peach. "Now that ISON has experienced an outburst, the show has really begun."

The increase in brightness and emergence of multiple gaseous streamers could be caused by fresh veins of ice opening up in the comet's nucleus. Rapid vaporization of ice by solar heat is a sure-fire way to boost a comet's visibility. But, as NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign states, "we have no idea." The comet's nucleus is hidden from view by a hazy green atmosphere, so events in the interior remain a mystery.

"I have a strong suspicion that this is Comet LINEAR (C/1999 S4) all over again," says Mark Kidger of the ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid. In the year 2000, Kidger other astronomers monitored Comet LINEAR as it disintegrated en route to the sun. "The sudden appearance of ISON's gas tail, the increasing fuzziness of its coma, and now this sudden outburst all remind me of C/1999 S4 just before it broke apart."

To reiterate: No one knows what is happening to Comet ISON. This could be the comet's death throes--or just the first of many brightening events the comet experiences as it plunges toward the sun for a close encounter on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28th).

Monitoring is encouraged. Comet ISON rises in the east just before the sun. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. Dates of special interest include Nov. 17th and 18th when the comet will pass the bright star Spica, making ISON extra-easy to find. Sky maps: Nov. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery
Ephemerides: Comet ISON, Comet Lovejoy, Comet Encke, Comet LINEAR X1

SUNSPOT SUNRISE: The sunspot number is so high, it is starting to confuse photographers. Consider this story from Beijing, China, on the morning of Nov. 15th: "Beijing is usually very polluted and we often miss seeing the sun rise in the morning," says Shalini Purohit. "Today, however, the morning sky was clear and I decided to take some pictures. When I looked at the image I thought there must be come specks of dust on my lens." In fact, the lens was clean; those specks were sunspots:

When the sunspot number is high, so is the chance of flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class flares and a 15% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. As Purohit's image shows, at least four of the sun's spots are facing Earth. If any eruptions do occur, they will likely be geoeffective. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Comet ISON 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 Spaceweather.com.

On Nov. 15, 2013, the network reported 14 fireballs.
(8 sporadics, 4 Northern Taurids, 1 omicron Eridanid, 1 November omega Orionid)

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 November 15, 2013 there were 1439 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 14
6.7 LD
54 m
2001 AV43
Nov 18
3 LD
52 m
2013 VK13
Nov 19
8.1 LD
28 m
2010 CL19
Nov 25
37.6 LD
1.3 km
2013 NJ
Nov 26
2.5 LD
190 m
2011 YD29
Dec 28
6.1 LD
24 m
2007 SJ
Jan 21
18.9 LD
1.9 km
2012 BX34
Jan 28
9.6 LD
13 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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