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Solar wind
speed: 360.7 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2205 UT Jan06
24-hr: C7
0019 UT Jan06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Jan 14
Growing sunspot AR1944 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 225
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 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

06 Jan 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 215 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Jan 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.1 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Jan 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: 01-06-2014 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jan 06 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 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
45 %
45 %
35 %
15 %
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
20 %
30 %
70 %
60 %
Monday, Jan. 6, 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

INCOMING CME: A CME is heading toward Earth. The incoming cloud (movie) was hurled into space by an M4-class explosion from sunspot AR1944 on Jan. 4th and is expected to deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetic field on Jan. 7th. Minor to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the CME arrives. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

RADIATION STORM IN PROGRESS: Energetic solar protons are streaming past Earth today, triggering an S1-class solar radiation storm. They were propelled toward us by an explosion in the magnetic canopy of old sunspot AR1936. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the blast:

Play the movie again. The snowy speckles dancing around the image are caused by energetic protons striking the coronagraph's digital camera. They are a sign that a radiation storm is underway.

Although this radiation storm is classified as S1, that is, minor, it is fairly rich in high energy particles that can temporarily "snow" (degrade the performance of) space-based cameras. NOAA forecasters expect the storm to continue for another day or so. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

GIANT SUNSPOT TURNS TOWARD EARTH: Watch this movie. One of the largest sunspots in years is turning toward Earth: AR1944 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for potent eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-class flares and a 30% chance of X-flares on Jan. 6th. Any flares today will almost certainly be geoeffective.

AR1944 contains dozens of dark cores, the largest of which is big enough to swallow three planet Earths. It's so big, sky watchers are noticing it as a blemish on the solar disk at sunset:

"Sunspot AR1944 was visible without using a solar telescope," reports Eddie Irizarry of Rincon, Puerto Rico, who took this picture at the end of the day on Jan. 5th. "Proper filters and extreme care should be taken when photographing the sun," he adds. "Unfiltered sunlight magnified by optics can cause serious eye damage."

Astronomers who have a safe solar telescope are encouraged to take a closer look. "AR1944 has to be the most awesome sunspot ever," says Sergio Castillo of Inglewood, CA. "I cannot stop photographing it." Here is his latest image from Jan. 5th:

Castillo used a telescope capped with a "Calcium K" filter. Calcium K filters, which are sensitive to the blue glow of calcium ions in the sun's lower atmosphere, highlight the bright magnetic froth that often forms around a sunspot's dark cores. AR1944 is very frothy indeed.

Magnetic froth does not necessarily herald an explosion, but it does guarantee a photogenic sunspot. Scan the gallery for more images:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

VENUS, THE CRESCENT PLANET: Venus is turning its night side toward Earth as it approaches inferior solar conjunction on Jan. 11th. Barely 1% of Venus's sunlit hemisphere is now facing us, which means the planet looks like a razor-thin crescent. If you have a GOTO telescope, command it to slew to Venus. It's visible even in broad daylight:

Shahrin Ahmad of Sri Damansara, Malaysia, took the picture on Jan. 6th using a 4.5 inch telescope. "As Venus gets closer to the sun, it gets thinner everyday!" says Ahmad. "So far, this is the thinnest Venus I've managed to photograph--a mere 9.5o from the sun and just 1.3% illuminated!"

Realtime Venus 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 Jan. 6, 2014, the network reported 7 fireballs.
(6 sporadics, 1 alpha Hydrid)

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]

On Jan. 5, 2014, the network reported 8 fireballs.
(6 sporadics, 2 Quadrantids)

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 6, 2014 there were 1449 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 AF5
Jan 1
0.3 LD
8 m
2014 AA
Jan 2
0.001 LD
3 m
2013 YL2
Jan 3
3.6 LD
101 m
2014 AF16
Jan 5
6.2 LD
42 m
2013 YM48
Jan 6
8.8 LD
33 m
2013 YV102
Jan 7
6.7 LD
34 m
2014 AD16
Jan 8
1.5 LD
15 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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