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Solar wind
speed: 606.5 km/sec
density: 2.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
2218 UT Jan02
24-hr: M1
0233 UT Jan02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Jan 14
Sunspot AR1936 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. New sunspot AR1944 is a possible source of strong flares, too. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 106
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Jan 2014

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

02 Jan 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 145 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Jan 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 5 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
Bz: 2.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 01 Jan 14
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Jan 2-4. 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: 01-02-2014 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jan 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
75 %
75 %
30 %
30 %
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 Jan 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
30 %
25 %
25 %
20 %
Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A minor (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm is in progress on Jan. 2nd in response to a solar wind stream, which is buffeting Earth's magnetosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

SUNSET CRESCENTS: When the sun sets tonight, step outside and look southwest. Not far above the horizon a super-slender crescent Moon is shining just above Venus. Look at Venus through a telescope--it's a crescent, too! Sylvain Weiller sends this picture of the pair from Saint Remy-les-Chevreuse, France:

"What an incredible fractal show," says Weiller. "The Moon and Venus now have exactly the same shape, a very thin crescent, albeit visually of completely different size!" Browse the gallery for more:

Realtime Venus Photo Gallery

SOLAR ACTIVITY UPDATE: 2014 began with a bang. At 18:54 UT on January 1st, big sunspot AR1936 erupted, producing a strong M9-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the explosion's extreme ultraviolet flash:

The movie shows a dark filament of plasma racing away from the blast site, but most of the material fell back to the stellar surface. Nevertheless, the explosion did produce a CME that could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field later this week. NOAA analysts are still evaluating this possibility.

The M9-flare of New Year's Day followed close on the heels of an M6-flare on New Year's Eve. Sunspot AR1936 produced both explosions. The New Year's Eve event produced a minor, slow-moving CME that is not expected to disturb Earth's magnetic field if and when it does arrive.

Sunspot AR1936 is active, but new sunspot AR1944 looks even more potent. The behemoth active region emerged over the sun's southeastern limb on Jan 1st:

Because of foreshortening near the sun's limb, the complexity of AR1944's magnetic field is still unknown. The sheer size of the sunspot, however, suggests it is capable of strong flares. The emergence of AR1944 combined with the ongoing activity from AR1936 has prompted NOAA forecasters to raise the odds of eruptions on Jan. 2nd to 70% for M-flares and 30% for X-flares. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

FIRST AURORAS OF 2014: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking the first auroras of 2014. Tour guide Peter Rosén photographed the New Year's display from Abisko National Park in the Swedish Lapland:

"This was our first night at our new ice igloo camp in Abisko National Park--and what a night!" says Rosén. "Me, my 2 new photo guides Ylva and Anette, and 11 guests from all over the world got to see the most incredible auroras. And when Ylva Sarri started to sing a traditional Sámi jojk about the wind while we were sitting next to the fire, I think I was not the only one who experienced an almost religious feeling. I hope this is a good sign for the rest of 2014."

The second auroras of the New Year are likely tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Jan. 2nd as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Venus 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 Jan. 2, 2014, the network reported 6 fireballs.
(6 sporadics)

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 January 2, 2014 there were 1448 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2011 YD29
Dec 28
6.1 LD
24 m
2013 YL2
Jan 3
3.6 LD
101 m
2013 YM48
Jan 6
8.8 LD
34 m
2007 SJ
Jan 21
18.9 LD
1.9 km
2012 BX34
Jan 28
9.6 LD
13 m
2006 DP14
Feb 10
6.2 LD
730 m
2000 EM26
Feb 18
8.8 LD
195 m
2000 EE14
Mar 6
64.6 LD
1.8 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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