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Solar wind
speed: 733.5 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C9
1818 UT May13
24-hr: C9
1818 UT May13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 May 15
Sunspot AR2339 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 170
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 May 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 13 May 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 163 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 May 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 6
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 0.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 May 15

Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is about to begin. Readers should monitor the "daily daisies" below for first sightings from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 05-13-2015 02:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 May 13 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
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: 2015 May 13 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
30 %
20 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
50 %
40 %
Wednesday, May. 13, 2015
What's up in space

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park.

Lapland tours

SEA SALT ON EUROPA: For decades, researchers have wondered about the sinuous dark marks on Jupiter's moon Europa. What are they? A new study by NASA provides an answer: It is sea salt. Somehow, salt from Europa's underground ocean is making its way to the moon's surface. There it is darkened by strong "space weathering" from Jupiter's stormy magnetosphere. Read all about it.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A high-speed stream solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, and this is causing geomagnetic storms around the poles. Last night during a G2-class disturbance, Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into several US states. Brad Dwight took this picture from the countryside near Modale, Iowa:

"There was a sudden outburst at 3am," says Dwight. "A 15 second exposure with my Canon 5DII digital camera captured the pink and yellow rays."

More auroras are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of geomagnetic storms on May 13th as the solar wind continues to blow. Observing tip: The best time to look is usually during the hours around local midnight. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SPACE STATION TRANSIT: On May 12th, the sunspot number increased--but only for a split-second--when a winged silhouette flew across the solar disk. Levin Dieterle of Reutin (Alpirsbach), Germany, captured the the transit:

It was the International Space Station. "I took the pictures using a Canon EOS 5D MKIII digital camera looking through a 6-inch refracting telescope--solar filtered, of course!" says Dieterle. Calsky provided the transit prediction.

So far this week, space station transits have been the chief form of activity on the quiet sun. No significant solar flares have been observed despite the fact that behemoth sunspot AR2339, shown above alongside the ISS, has an unstable 'beta-gamma' magnetic field. The sunspot may yet produce its own contribution: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of M-flares and a 5% chance of X-flares on May 13th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather 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. 13, 2015, the network reported 10 fireballs.
(8 sporadics, 1 eta Lyrid, 1 eta Aquariid)

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 13, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 JC1
May 8
3.5 LD
17 m
2015 JD
May 10
3.6 LD
35 m
2015 JR
May 13
4 LD
24 m
2015 HB177
May 14
12.4 LD
51 m
5381 Sekhmet
May 17
62.8 LD
2.1 km
2015 JF
May 18
9 LD
24 m
2015 HT9
May 25
12.2 LD
24 m
2005 XL80
Jun 4
38.1 LD
1.0 km
2012 XB112
Jun 11
10.1 LD
2 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.1 LD
68 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.4 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
565 m
2013 BQ18
Jul 20
7.9 LD
38 m
1999 JD6
Jul 25
18.8 LD
1.6 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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