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Solar wind
speed: 405.9 km/sec
density: 5.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1821 UT Nov08
24-hr: X1
0426 UT Nov08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Nov 13
Big sunspot AR1890 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 159
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Nov 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 Nov 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 148 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Nov 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.3 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 07 Nov 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 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 Nov 08 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
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: 2013 Nov 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 %
20 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
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

AN ASTEROID WITH SIX TAILS: The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a strange asteroid with six comet-like tails. (Extra: Amateurs have spotted it, too.) Researchers think the asteroid, named P/2013 P5, is spewing jets of dust as it rapidly rotates to the breaking point. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

ANOTHER X-FLARE: Big sunspot AR1890 is crackling with strong flares. The latest, which peaked on Nov. 8th at 04:32 UT, registered X1 on the Richter Scale of Flares. (Note: Earlier, we underestimated the intensity of this flare as M8.) NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a flash of extreme UV radiation from the blast site:

This sunspot has a signature: It tends to produce very brief flares. The X1-flare was no exception as it lasted barely a minute. Brevity mitigates Earth-effects, so this intense flare was not strongly geoeffective--at least, not at first. The explosion also hurled a CME into space: movie. The cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 10-11, possibly sparking polar geomagnetic storms.

More eruptions are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-class solar flares and a 20% chance of X-flares on Nov. 8th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

RACING TOWARD THE SUN: Comet ISON is now inside the orbit of Earth and racing toward the sun. On Nov. 6th, astronomer Alberto Quijano Vodniza of Pasto, Colombia, recorded the comet moving through space at 103,000 mph (46 km/s). Click to set the scene in motion:

"The movie shows the comet's motion over 27 minutes," says Vodniza. Watch it again. "We also caught a satellite."

On Nov. 28th, Comet ISON will fly through the sun's atmosphere little more than a million kilometers above the sun's fiery surface. This raises a question: Is Comet ISON racing toward its doom? Astronomer Matthew Knight of the Lowell Observatory thinks the comet might withstand the heat:

"At its closest point to the Sun, the equilibrium temperature approaches 5000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause much of the dust and rock on ISON’s surface to vaporize," says Knight. "While it may seem incredible that anything can survive this inferno, the rate at which ISON will likely lose mass is relatively small compared to how big it likely is. Assuming that the comet's nucleus is bigger than about 200 meters in radius (current estimates suggest it is 500-2000 m in radius), it will likely survive. It helps that the comet is moving very fast, about 400 km/s at perihelion, so it will not remain long at such extreme temperatures."

If Comet ISON does survive its encounter with the sun, it could put on a good show for backyard astronomers in the northern hemisphere in December. The next few weeks will tell the tale. Stay tuned!

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 Nov. 8, 2013, the network reported 10 fireballs.
(5 sporadics, 5 Northern Taurids)

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 November 8, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 VL5
Nov 1
6.8 LD
27 m
2013 UJ9
Nov 1
4.9 LD
22 m
2013 VG2
Nov 4
2.6 LD
23 m
2013 VH2
Nov 7
8.5 LD
15 m
2013 UE1
Nov 7
7.4 LD
57 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 14
6.7 LD
54 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
2011 YD29
Dec 28
6.1 LD
24 m
2007 SJ
Jan 21
18.9 LD
1.9 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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