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Solar wind
speed: 491.5 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1906 UT May08
24-hr: C2
0022 UT May08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 May 13
Tthe odds of an Earth-directed flare are decreasing as sunspot AR1739 decays. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 118
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 May 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

08 May 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 129 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 May 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz: 1.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 08 May 13
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 May 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
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 May 08 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 %
Wednesday, May. 8, 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

RING OF FIRE SOLAR ECLIPSE: On May 9-10, the Moon will pass directly in front of the sun over the South Pacific, producing a "ring of fire" solar eclipse. At greatest eclipse, 98% of the sun's surface will be covered. The Coca-Cola Space Science Center is hosting a live webcast of the event from Australia! Tune in on May 9th beginning at 5 pm EDT. More: animation, map, details.

GENTLE SOLAR WIND, DEEP-SKY AURORAS: A solar wind stream continues to buffet Earth's magnetic field on May 8th. The force of the buffeting is not enough to cause a full-fledged geomagnetic storm, but it has ignited faint auroras at high latitudes. Practically invisible to the human eye, these "deep-sky" auroras are nevertheless a beautiful sight when properly exposed using a digital camera. Last night, Shawn Malone of Marquette, Michigan, took this picture overlooking Lake Superior:

"This is just a quick photo off the back deck," says Malone. "On May 7th, we had a beautiful starry moonless night and a nice auroral glow on the horizon. The colors were undetectable to the human eye, but the camera picked them up easily."

Malone is a veteran photographer of auroras, and her back deck is a great place to watch the northern sky. She recently compiled a time-lapse video of the Northern Light. "I've been working on it for more than a year," she says. "Watch the video here." Auroras alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

METEORS FROM HALLEY'S COMET: On May 5th and 6th, Earth passed through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. At its peak, the shower produced more than 100 meteors per hour, mainly over the southern hemisphere. Stephen Voss sends this picture from Otago Harbour Entrance in Dunedin, New Zealand

"I stacked multiple frames to create this pre-dawn image," says Voss. "It shows at least seven eta Aquarids."

The peak has passed but the show is not over. Earth is still in the outskirts of Halley's debris stream. Flakes of comet dust hitting our planet's upper atmosphere at 66 km/s (150,000 mph) should produce a waning drizzle of 10 to 15 meteors per hour for several days to come. Listen to the meteor radar for echoes.

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

MOOOO-VING UP--EDGE OF SPACE ADVERTISING: To fund space weather experiments in the stratosphere, science students in Bishop, California, have started a new business: Edge of Space Advertising. For a fee, they'll fly ad banners, shoes, US presidents--you name it!--to the edge of space. On April 22nd (Earth Day), they launched a cow:

This is EVA, the mascot of New Zealand Internet service provider EOL. Last month, she traveled from Tauranga, New Zealand, to an Edge-of-Space Port in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. There, students attached EVA to the payload of a helium balloon and launched her to the stratosphere 120,000 feet above Earth's surface. Along the way she experienced temperatures as low as -65o C and air pressures only 1% of sea level--much like conditions on the planet Mars. At the end of the 3-hour flight, the balloon popped and EVA parachuted back to Earth, touching down in a remote corner of Death Valley. GPS signals led the students to the landing site, where they recovered EVA covered with desert dust but still smiling.

The name of the student group is "Earth to Sky Calculus." Mentored by Dr. Tony Phillips of, they are actively exploring the stratosphere--measuring the effect of solar flares on the ozone layer, capturing high-altitude bacteria, and photographing meteor showers. The profits are going to a good cause.

EVA's flight to the stratosphere and the student's recovery expedition through Death Valley has generated a flurry of news coverage for EOL in New Zealand. In short, Edge of Space Advertising really works. Interested? Contact Dr. Tony Phillips for rates and details.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 8, 2013 there were 1397 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2004 BV102
May 25
69.9 LD
1.4 km
1998 QE2
May 31
15.2 LD
2.1 km
2000 FM10
Jun 5
50.3 LD
1.3 km
2002 KL3
Jun 6
66.4 LD
1.1 km
1999 WC2
Jun 12
39.2 LD
1.9 km
2006 RO36
Jun 18
70.9 LD
1.2 km
2001 PJ9
Jul 17
29.2 LD
1.1 km
2006 BL8
Jul 26
9.3 LD
48 m
2003 DZ15
Jul 29
7.6 LD
153 m
2005 WK4
Aug 9
8.1 LD
420 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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