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Solar wind
speed: 306.0 km/sec
density: 2.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B7
1858 UT Oct06
24-hr: C1
1425 UT Oct06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Oct 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 69
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Oct 2013

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 Oct 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 106 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Oct 2013

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: 3.4 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Oct 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on Oct. 10-11. Credit: SDO/AIA. is now posting 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: 09-02-2013 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Oct 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2013 Oct 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
What's up in space

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

Own your own meteorite

SPACECRAFT GOES INTO LUNAR ORBIT: Mission controllers flying NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft are among the select few at the space agency who have exemptions allowing them to work during the government shutdown. Early this morning, Oct. 6th, they fired LADEE's main engine in a braking maneuver. This slowed the spacecraft enough for it to be captured by the Moon's gravity. The insertion burn went flawlessly and LADEE is now in lunar orbit. Two more main engine burns, on Oct. 9th and 12th, will adjust LADEE's trajectory, settling it into its commissioning orbit. LADEE is on a mission to study the exotic and diaphanous lunar atmosphere, which is mightily affected by space weather.

COMET ISON IN COLOR: Comet ISON is brightening as it approaches the sun. Estimates by experienced observers put the comet between 10th and 11th magnitude. That's too dim to see with the unaided eye, but bright enough for color photography through mid-sized backyard telescopes. Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen, Austria, observed the comet on Oct. 5th and found that it was green:

To image the comet, Jäger combined multiple exposures through red, green, blue, ultraviolet and infrared filters. Details may be found here.

ISON's green color comes from the gases surrounding its icy nucleus. Jets spewing from the comet's core probably contain cyanogen (CN: a poisonous gas found in many comets) and diatomic carbon (C2). Both substances glow green when illuminated by sunlight in the near-vacuum of space.

Finding Comet ISON is easy. It rises alongside Mars in the eastern sky just before dawn. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. Sky maps: Oct. 7, 8.

The comet merits watching in the weeks ahead. While many experts believe ISON is on track to become a bright sungrazer in late November, astronomer Ignacio Ferrin of the University of the Antioquia Institute of Physics in Colombia predicts a different outcome. He believes Comet ISON is about to disintegrate. The light curve of ISON, Ferrin argues, resembles those of other comets that have fallen apart prematurely. If he's right, the "Comet of the Century" could turn into a century-class fizzle. Stay tuned to the Comet ISON Photo Gallery for updates.

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery

FARSIDE CORONAL MASS EJECTION: The Earthside of the sun is quiet, but the farside of the sun is not. During the early hours of Oct. 5th, NASA's STEREO-A probe, stationed over the farside, recorded the eruption of a southern hemisphere sunspot. Shortly after 07:30 UT, a coronal mass ejection (CME) flew over the sun's southeastern limb (credit: SOHO):

Radio emissions from shock waves in the CME suggest an expansion velocity of about 700 km/s (1.6 million mph), which is fairly typical of CME speeds. If Earth were in the line of fire, we would probably observe bright polar auroras in a few days. However, this CME is heading away from, not toward our planet.

The active region that produced the blast will rotate onto the Earthside of the sun in about 6 days. If it remains potent, geoeffective solar activity could increase next week. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

  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 6, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 TQ4
Oct 2
4.9 LD
14 m
2013 SU24
Oct 5
5.1 LD
49 m
2013 SC21
Oct 7
8.8 LD
45 m
2013 TO4
Oct 8
6.3 LD
38 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49.1 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 13
8.2 LD
57 m
2001 AV43
Nov 18
3 LD
52 m
2010 CL19
Nov 25
37.6 LD
1.3 km
2013 NJ
Nov 26
2.5 LD
190 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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