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Solar wind
speed: 360.4 km/sec
density: 14.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
1722 UT May08
24-hr: M5
1007 UT May08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 May 14
Sunspot AR2056 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 105
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 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%)

08 May 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 146 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 May 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.1 nT
Bz: 3.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 08 May 14
Solar wind flowing from this large southern coronal hole could reach Earth on May 11-12. 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 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
05 %
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 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
35 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
30 %
30 %
25 %
45 %
Thursday, May. 8, 2014
What's up in space

Did you miss the lunar eclipse? No problem. The Coca-Cola Science Center recorded it for you. Click here to play the movie.

2014 Lunar Eclipse Live

GET READY FOR A NEW METEOR SHOWER: May 24th could be a big day for meteor astronomy. That's when Earth is expected to pass through a cloud of debris from comet 209P/LINEAR, producing a never-before-seen meteor shower. Meteor rates could exceed 200 per hour, and some forecasters have even mentioned the possibility of a meteor storm. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

AN UPTICK IN SOLAR ACTIVITY: The sunspot number is increasing this week as a crowd of dark cores emerges over the sun's eastern limb. Click to view a 3-day movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and count the spots as they appear:

One of the spots in the crowd, AR2056, has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. The odds of a geoeffective eruption will increase in the days ahead as AR2056 turns toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of M-flares on May 8th.

Update: As predicted, sunspot AR2056 unleashed a M5-class solar flare on May 8th at 1007 UT. SDO captured the extreme ultraviolet flash:

The flash ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, interfering with shortwave radio propagation on the dayside of the planet. Those effects, however, quickly subsided. Also, first-look coronagraph images from the STEREO spacecraft show no significant CME emerging from the blast site. Stay tuned for updates as more data become available.Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

WEAK INTERPLANETARY SHOCK SPARKS AURORAS: A interplanetary shock wave, origin unknown, hit Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of May 7th. Although the shock was relatively weak, the impact was enough to spark auroras over Canada and some northern-tier US states. Mike Taylor sends this picture of the display from Central Maine:

"While out photographing our Milky Way galaxy in the middle of the night, I happened to notice some color coming from the North and sure enough it was the Northern Lights," says Tayler. "Although I could barely see this display with the naked eye, the camera picked it up quite well. Bright lights and other colors on either side of the aurora are man-made light pollution coming from Augusta, Maine, about 20 miles away."

In the wake of the shock, solar wind conditions favor more high-latitude auroras tonight. First-time photographers, check out Taylor's photo settings. They might come in handy in your own backyard. 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 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. 8, 2014, the network reported 23 fireballs.
(16 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 8, 2014 there were 1470 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 JX24
May 4
6.9 LD
18 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 JR24
May 7
0.3 LD
6 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
61 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 JL25
Jun 5
9.7 LD
130 m
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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