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Solar wind
speed: 406.3 km/sec
density: 4.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M4
1815 UT Oct26
24-hr: X2
1056 UT Oct26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Oct 14
Huge sunspot AR2192 poses a growing threat for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 115
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Oct 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 26 Oct

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 219 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Oct 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.0 nT
Bz: 5.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Oct 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 Oct 26 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
85 %
85 %
55 %
55 %
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 Oct 26 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
20 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
30 %
30 %
40 %
25 %
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014
What's up in space

Would you like a call when things are happening in the night sky? Sign up for backyard astronomy alerts from voice or text.


CHANCE OF FLARES: Giant sunspot AR2192 is growing again, which means high solar activity is unlikely to subside. NOAA forecasters estimate an 85% chance of M-class flares and a 45% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

THREE DAYS, THREE X-FLARES: Today (Oct. 26), for the third day in a row, Earth-orbiting satellites detected an X-class solar flare. The X2-category blast came from giant sunspot AR2192, shown here in a Sunday morning sunrise photo from Jean-Baptiste Feldmann of Nuits-Saint-Georges, France:

Recapping the rapid-fire flares: There was an X3 on Oct. 24th (2140 UT), an X1 on Oct 25th (1709 UT), and an X2 on Oct. 22nd (1059 UT). All three of these explosions produced strong HF radio blackouts over the dayside of Earth. In each case, communications were disturbed over a wide area for approximately one hour. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Usually, strong flares are acompanied by massive CMEs--billion-ton clouds of electrified gas that billow away from tthe blast site. So far, however, none of the eruptions from AR2192 has produced a major CME. Without a series of CMEs to rattle our planet's magnetic field, there have been no geomagnetic storms nor any widespread auroras. Earth-effects have been limited to radio blackouts. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

EDGE OF SPACE SOLAR ECLIPSE: There are many beautiful pictures of last Thursday's solar eclipse in the realtime photo gallery. Only these, however, were taken from the stratosphere:

On Oct. 23rd, just as the New Moon was about to pass in front of the sun, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a helium balloon carrying a Nikon D7000 camera. Their goal: to set the record for high-altitude photography of an eclipse. During a two-hour flight to the edge of space, the camera captured 11 images of the crescent sun. The final picture, taken just a split second before the balloon exploded, was GPS-tagged with an altitude of 108,900 feet.

To put this achievement into context, consider the following: Most people who photographed the eclipse carefully mounted their cameras on a rock-solid tripod, or used the precision clock-drive of a telescope to track the sun. The students, however, managed the same trick from an un-stabilized platform, spinning, buffeted by wind, and racing upward to the heavens at 15 mph. Their photos show that DLSR astrophotography from an suborbital helium balloon is possible, and they will surely refine their techniques for even better photos in the future.

Hey thanks! The students wish to thank for sponsoring this flight. Their $500 contribution paid for the helium and other supplies necessary to get the balloon off the ground. Note the Automation Direct logo in this picture of the payload ascending over the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California:

Another notable picture shows the payload ascending over clouds, which blocked the eclipse at ground level but did not prevent photography from the balloon.

Readers, would you like to sponsor a student research flight and have your logo photographed at the edge of space? Contact Dr. Tony Phillips to get involved.

Realtime Eclipse Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 Oct. 26, 2014, the network reported 41 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 10 Orionids, 5 Southern Taurids, 1 epsilon Geminid)

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 October 26, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 TT35
Oct 22
6.9 LD
27 m
2014 TP57
Oct 22
8.2 LD
23 m
2014 UD57
Oct 23
4.2 LD
30 m
2014 UA8
Oct 23
8.1 LD
37 m
2014 SC324
Oct 24
1.5 LD
65 m
2014 UU33
Oct 25
6.9 LD
41 m
2014 UF56
Oct 27
0.4 LD
14 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
3.1 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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