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Solar wind
speed: 351.7 km/sec
density: 3.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
2209 UT May06
24-hr: M1
0903 UT May06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 May 14
Sunspot AR2051 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 131
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 May 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

06 May 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 139 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 May 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.8 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 May 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: 02-28-2014 16:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 May 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
25 %
10 %
05 %
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 May 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
25 %
05 %
20 %
Tuesday, May. 6, 2014
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

METEOR SHOWER PEAKING NOW: Today, Earth is passing through a stream of dusty debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. "The Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) CMOR is detecting peak activity from the eta Aquarid stream today," reports Prof. Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. "In our radar data, the shower shows up as a strong, point-like source emanating from the  head of Aquarius." Click to view the latest CMOR all-sky map:

"Activity from last night was more than 40 per hour - this is about normal for the shower as seen by CMOR but much lower than last year when rates were double this value on  May 5," adds Brown.

If it's dark where you live, be alert for meteors. If the sun is up, listen for meteor radar echoes on Space Weather Radio.

Before sunrise on May 6th, Mike Taylor caught this speck of "Halley dust" disintegrating over central Maine:

"An eta Aquarid fireball meteor with an impressive green tail streaked through the sky while I was photographing the reflections of the Milky Way and some trees in a local pond," says Taylor. "I used an ISO setting of 4000 to collect as much light in the foreground reflections as possible."

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

A ROUGH RIDE FOR HALOBACTERIA: Extremophiles have returned to the Edge of Space. On May 4th, for the second time in less than a month, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a suborbital helium balloon carrying a colony of halobacteria. Here they are at the apex of the flight, almost 32 km high:

A similar colony made the same flight on April 20th. Despite being zapped by radiation 25x more intense than Earth-normal and freezing solid in temperatures as low as -60C, those bacteria are now thriving in the student's AP Biology Lab in Bishop, California. They seemed to enjoy their ride to the top of Earth's atmosphere.

Will these bacteria fare as well? When the bacteria landed in a remote area of Nevada, they hit the desert floor hard; the agar "went splat" at the moment of impact. Today, the students are culturing the battered bacteria to find out how hardy they really are. Stay tuned for updates from the incubator. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

MOTHER'S DAY AT THE EDGE OF SPACE: Mother's Day is right around the corner. Looking for a unique gift? How about an Edge of Space Mother's Day Card? The students of Earth to Sky Calculus are about launch another helium balloon to the stratosphere. For only $49.95, your Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthday or anniversary card could be on the payload. Profits from the flight are used to support the students' space weather balloon research program. Contact Dr. Tony Phillips for details.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Mars 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 May. 6, 2014, the network reported 28 fireballs.
(21 sporadics, 7 eta Aquariids)

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 May 6, 2014 there were 1470 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 HL129
May 3
0.8 LD
10 m
2014 HT46
May 4
6.9 LD
21 m
2014 HO132
May 5
2.1 LD
31 m
2014 HX164
May 6
1.1 LD
16 m
2014 HB177
May 6
1.3 LD
10 m
2014 HT178
May 8
5.9 LD
21 m
2014 JD
May 9
7.7 LD
25 m
2014 JH15
May 17
8 LD
63 m
2010 JO33
May 17
4 LD
43 m
2005 UK1
May 20
36.7 LD
1.1 km
1997 WS22
May 21
47.1 LD
1.5 km
2002 JC
May 24
48.7 LD
1.4 km
2014 HQ124
Jun 8
3.2 LD
625 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.
  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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