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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 583.7 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B8
1734 UT Nov11
24-hr: B8
1734 UT Nov11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Nov 15
Sunspot AR2449 poses a waning threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 65
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 11 Nov 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
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%)

Updated 11 Nov 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 105 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 11 Nov 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.3 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
Coronal Holes: 11 Nov 15

Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this vast coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is finished. According to NASA's AIM spacecraft, the last clouds were observed over Greenland on Aug. 27th. Now the waiting begins for the southern season expected to begin in November.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 09-01-2015 09:00:00
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Nov 11 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
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: 2015 Nov 11 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
30 %
25 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
25 %
30 %
60 %
40 %
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
What's up in space

Marianne's Heaven On Earth Aurora Chaser Tours invites you to join them in their quest to find and photograph the Aurora Borealis. Experience the winter wonderland in the Tromsø Area.

Chase the Light Tours

GLANCING-BLOW CME EXPECTED LATER TODAY: A CME (movie) hurled into space by sunspot AR2449 on Nov. 9th is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field later today. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of geomagnetic storms when the CME arrives on Nov. 11-12. Aurora alerts: text or voice

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: For the third day in a row, Earth is passing through a stream of high-speed solar wind flowing from a coronal hole on the sun. Currently, solar wind speeds are topping 700 km/s (1.6 million mph), sparking displays like this one photographed by Tony Maheno of Bluff, Southland, New Zealand:

"While photographing the southern lights near the shipwreck Olivia, I caught a meteor shooting from above and burning out as it passed by," says Maheno. "I could see the smoke vapours after it passed."

The meteor was, of course, a Taurid fireball. Two weeks after it began, the annual Taurid meteor shower is still underway, and it is visible from both hemispheres of our planet. The Taurids of 2015 are expecially rich in fireballs because Earth is inside an extra-gravelly swarm of material associated with parent Comet Encke. Aurora watchers who stay outdoors for more than a few hours stand a good chance of seeing one explode with their own eyes. Aurora alerts: text or voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

NOBEL ART EXHIBIT AT THE EDGE OF SPACE: In Barcelona, Spain, the 2015 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates is about to begin. From Nov. 13th through 15th, more than a dozen Nobel Laureates will gather to promote global peace and freedom. As they work, the Laureates will be surrounded by hundreds of peace-themed paintings created by school children around the world. A preview of this unique exhibit was recently seen ... at the edge of space:

Both were flown to the stratosphere in October onboard an Earth to Sky Calculus research balloon. The top frame shows Dove of Peace, a painting by Aleksandra Manafova, 11, of St. Petersburg, Russia. The bottom frame displays Up with Peace, by Pace Academy freshman Caelan Corbally, 15, of Atlanta, Georgia.

Linden Longino, CEO of International Paint Pals, is organizing the Nobel Art exhibit, and he aranged to have these samples sent to the stratosphere.

"One hundred countries were invited to have children participate in the exhibition, and 83 said 'yes'--a phenomenal response," says Longino. "Out of 2,000 works of art we received, the best 166 (two from each country) were chosen to be displayed at the Nobel Summit. Of those, two were further selected for the 'space exhibit' because of their relevance to flight and their 'uplifting' nature."

Longino's donation of $1000 to Earth to Sky Calculus not only propelled two fine pieces of art to the edge of space, but also allowed the students of Earth to Sky to continue their ongoing measurements of cosmic radiation in the stratosphere with two research balloon flights in October. Thank you, Linden!

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Taurid Photo Gallery

Realtime Meteor 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. 11, 2015, the network reported 34 fireballs.
(18 sporadics, 16 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 11, 2015 there were 1633 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 VZ2
Nov 8
13.8 LD
137 m
2015 VT64
Nov 9
9.7 LD
26 m
2015 VM64
Nov 10
5.5 LD
28 m
2015 VH65
Nov 11
5.9 LD
12 m
2015 VR64
Nov 12
3 LD
13 m
2015 VU65
Nov 14
5.2 LD
26 m
2005 UL5
Nov 20
5.9 LD
390 m
2015 VH2
Nov 24
12.9 LD
15 m
2003 EB50
Nov 29
48.8 LD
2.2 km
2007 BG29
Dec 1
54.1 LD
1.1 km
1998 WT24
Dec 11
10.9 LD
1.1 km
2011 YD29
Dec 24
9.7 LD
24 m
2003 SD220
Dec 24
28.4 LD
1.8 km
2008 CM
Dec 29
22.8 LD
1.5 km
2004 MQ1
Jan 2
55.4 LD
1.1 km
1999 JV6
Jan 6
12.6 LD
410 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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere
Situation Report -- Oct. 30, 2015 Stratospheric Radiation (+37o N)
Cosmic ray levels are elevated (+6.1% above the Space Age median). The trend is flat. Cosmic ray levels have increased +0% in the past month.
Sept. 06: 4.14 uSv/hr (414 uRad/hr)
Sept. 12: 4.09 uSv/hr (409 uRad/hr)
Sept. 23: 4.12 uSv/hr (412 uRad/hr)
Sept. 25: 4.16 uSv/hr (416 uRad/hr)
Sept. 27: 4.13 uSv/hr (413 uRad/hr)
Oct. 11: 4.02 uSv/hr (402 uRad/hr)
Oct. 22: 4.11 uSv/hr (402 uRad/hr)
These measurements are based on regular space weather balloon flights: learn more.

Approximately once a week, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly "space weather balloons" to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Our measurements show that someone flying back and forth across the continental USA, just once, can absorb as much ionizing radiation as 2 to 5 dental X-rays. Here is the data from our latest flight, Oct. 22nd:

Radiation levels peak at the entrance to the stratosphere in a broad region called the "Pfotzer Maximum." This peak is named after physicist George Pfotzer who discovered it using balloons and Geiger tubes in the 1930s. Radiation levels there are more than 80x sea level.

Note that the bottom of the Pfotzer Maximim is near 55,000 ft. This means that some high-flying aircraft are not far from the zone of maximum radiation. Indeed, according to the Oct 22th measurements, a plane flying at 45,000 feet is exposed to 2.79 uSv/hr. At that rate, a passenger would absorb about one dental X-ray's worth of radiation in about 5 hours.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

  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
Synergy Spray Foam Insulation of Houston TX
  Protection from the Sun!
  more links...
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