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Solar wind
speed: 549.4 km/sec
density: 3.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M2
1945 UT Nov05
24-hr: M7
0947 UT Nov05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Nov 14
Sunspot AR2205 poses a threat for strong M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 99
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Nov 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 05 Nov

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 129 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 Nov 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.9 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 05 Nov 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 Nov 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
55 %
55 %
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 Nov 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
35 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
30 %
30 %
45 %
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 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.


ANOTHER SOLAR FLARE: Active sunspot AR2205 unleashed another strong solar flare today, an impulsive M7-class explosion that peaked around 0947 UT. Radio emissions suggest that a CME raced away from the blast site at 800 km/s (1.8 million mph). Because the sunspot is not facing Earth, the CME should miss our planet. NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of more M-flares in the next 24 hours.

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SPACE WEATHER BALLOON: On Oct. 23rd, during a partial solar eclipse, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a pair of space weather balloons to measure the effect of the eclipse on the temperature structure of the stratosphere. One balloon collected great data. The other is missing. Visit their Facebook page for the full story.

MOONLIT AURORAS: Earth is passing through a fast-moving stream of solar wind, and this is stirring auroras around the Arctic Circle bright enough to see through the glare of the nearly-full Moon. Tour guide Gunnar Hildonen sends this picture from Tromso, Norway:

"Lady Aurora just got crazy in the eastern sky," says Hildonen. "Several of my guests were close to crying. It was pink and violet Rock-n-Roll, and it felt like it should never stop. Yes, I am very glad that I have this job."

The moonlight is intensifying ahead of this Thursday's full Moon, but the auroras might be intensifying, too. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic storms on Nov. 4-5 as the solar wind continues to blow.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

EUROPE PREPARES TO LAND ON A COMET: On Nov. 12th, the European Space Agency will attempt something "ridiculously difficult"--that is, landing on a comet. The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will drop a probe named Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. "The comet will be moving 40 times faster than a speeding bullet, spinning, shooting out gas and welcoming Rosetta on the surface with boulders, cracks, scarps and possibly meters of dust," says Art Chmielewski, the US Rosetta Project Manager at JPL. A video from NASA previews the landing.

What would you do if you landed on a comet? For his answer, reader Luca Savorani created this graphic:

"I added some ski tracks to the dusty slopes of the comet's neck," explains Savorani. "The underlying image was taken by Rosetta's NAVCAM on Oct. 28th."

Skiing on a comet? The idea's not so crazy. Astronauts have seriously discussed the possibility of skiing on the Moon, where thick layers of moondust resemble the powder that coats parts of 67P. All you need are teflon skis.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Eclipse 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 Nov. 5, 2014, the network reported 22 fireballs.
(17 sporadics, 5 Northern Taurids)

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 5, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2003 UC20
Oct 31
52.4 LD
1.0 km
2014 UA176
Nov 6
4.8 LD
18 m
2014 UX57
Nov 6
3.6 LD
23 m
2014 UD192
Nov 9
3.1 LD
29 m
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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