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Solar wind
speed: 528.6 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2013 UT Oct15
24-hr: M1
0900 UT Oct15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Oct 13
Sunspot AR1865 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 136
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Oct 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

15 Oct 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 125 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 15 Oct 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.7 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 15 Oct 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on Oct. 20-21. 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 Oct 15 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
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 Oct 15 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
30 %
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
20 %
15 %
30 %
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

SCROLL DOWN FOR FIREBALLS: There's something new on Scroll down the page and look for the "All Sky Fireball Network." Every night (even during a government shutdown) NASA scans the skies for meteoritic fireballs. Every morning, we'll be presenting their results from the night before. The data include orbits, velocity, penetration depth in Earth's atmosphere and more.

WEAK IMPACT, AURORAS ANYWAY: As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field this morning, Oct. 15th @ 10:00 UT. Earth was already surrounded by a gusty stream of solar wind when the CME arrived, so the signature of the CME's impact was almost indiscernable. Nevertheless, Arctic sky watchers got an eyeful. The solar wind stream itself fueled a fine display of auroras:

"It was another great night in the Abisko National Park," says aurora tour guide Chad Blakley of Abisko, Sweden. "Our guests from Singapore and India were walking back to the hotel when an amazing corona developed overhead. I can not wait to see what the next few nights have to offer."

Indeed, more auroras may be in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of polar geomagnetic storms as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

MORSE CODE BEAMED INTO SPACE: When NASA's Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9th, ham radio operators around the world took part in a global effort to communicate with the spacecraft. Organized by the Juno mission team and JPL, the hams slowly tapped out "Hi" in Morse code: . In New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft was observing the heavens with his own shortwave radio telescope when he heard the transmissions:

"The patterned keying from amateur radio operators was noted clearly on my radio telescope," says Ashcraft. "In the dynamic spectrum, shown above, it is the series of horizontal 'dots' just above 28 MHz." Listening to this seven minute extract of the signal pattern sent to Juno takes patience, so Ashcraft sped up the recording by 10 times. "Here it is," he says.

Juno listened for the message using its onboard WAVES instrument, a radio and plasma wave sensor designed to study magnetic storms at Jupiter. Did Juno actually hear anything? The Juno mission team wrote this on the event's home page: "Thank you amateur radio operators. This activity is now concluded. The Juno team hopes to share the results with you soon."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

HOW TO FIND COMET ISON: How do you find Comet ISON? Wake up before dawn, face east, and follow the "double star." Rising about three hours before the sun, red Mars and blue-white Regulus have converged to form a bright pair separated by only 1o. Martin Gembec photographed the duo from the Czech Republic before daybreak on Oct. 14th.

To find Comet ISON, take a look at the full-sized image. The comet is just above Mars.

On Nov. 28th, Comet ISON could become spectacularly bright when it flies through the atmosphere of the sun. At the moment, though, it is still far away (near Mars) and faint. Visibility requires a telescope. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates, or just find the "double star" and draw a line between Regulus and Mars. It leads to ISON. Sky map: Oct. 15.

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

  All Sky Fireball Network
NEW: Every night, a network of NASA all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United States for fireballs--that is, meteors brighter than Venus. 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 Oct. 15, 2013, the network detected 3 fireballs.
(2 sporadics, 1 chi Taurid)

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 October 15, 2013 there were 1432 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 TX68
Oct 13
5.4 LD
38 m
2013 TM127
Oct 14
3 LD
21 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49.1 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 13
8.2 LD
57 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
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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