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Solar wind
speed: 334.0 km/sec
density: 2.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B7
2125 UT Jun16
24-hr: C1
1020 UT Jun16
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 16 Jun 13
A raft of new sunspots emerging over the sun's southeastern limb is increasing the sunspot number and the chance of flares. So far, however, solar activity remains low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 101
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 16 Jun 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

16 Jun 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 16 Jun 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.9 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 16 Jun 13
Spewing solar wind, a large coronal hole is emerging over the sun's NW limb. Credit: SDO/AIA.

NEW: 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: 06-15-2013 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Jun 16 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
05 %
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 Jun 16 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
20 %
20 %
Sunday, Jun. 16, 2013
What's up in space

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

Own your own meteorite

QUIET, FOR NOW: Solar activity remains low. However, a raft of sunspots emerging over the sun's eastern limb is boosting the sunspot number and the chance of flares. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON LAUNCH: Yesterday, high school students in Bishop, California, launched another "space weather balloon." Its mission: To investigate the effect of solar flares and radiation storms on Earth's ozone layer. The group's mentor, Dr. Tony Phillips, photographed the balloon moments before launch from their "Edge of Space Port" in the Sierra Nevada mountains:

The balloon's payload carried two cameras, an ozone sensor, a cryogenic thermometer, and a GPS altimeter to an altitude of 110,000 feet above Earth's surface. All of the payload's core space weather instrumentation was built by the students themselves. After the balloon popped, as planned, the payload parachuted back to Earth, landing near the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in California's White Mountains. A recovery team has already recovered the payload, and students are inspecting the data now.

The students launched on June 14th, a period of low solar activity, because they wanted to compare quiet sun data with a data set they collected on May 22nd during a strong solar radiation storm. Stay tuned for their results!

Sponsor a space weather balloon: Would you like to sponsor a flight? The students, who call themselves Earth to Sky Calculus, offer a service for sponsors called "Edge of Space Advertising." Just yesterday they flew an ad for Interpret America (flight photo), which paid for the helium in the balloon. The students have also flown banners, cards, cows, running shoes, presidents and other items. If there's something you'd like to fly, please contact Dr. Tony Phillips for rates and details.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SUN HALO: Sky watchers, the next time you are outside on a bright sunny day and cirrus clouds drift across the sun, find a flower and hold it up. You might see something like this:

"Yesterday, my wife and I were at an Iris flower farm in traverse city, Michigan, with 6 acres of awsome colored flowers in prime bloom," says photographer Jim Fantozzi. "I noticed the ring around the sun, so I had my wife block the sun with an iris flower and--wow--it came out pretty cool."

The ring of light is a 22-degree sun halo caused by ice crystals in the clouds. Up where cirrus clouds form, 5 to 10 km high, the air temperature is always cold enough for ice crystals, which means sun halos may be seen at any time of year. Irises, however, prefer spring. In other seasons, you might have to cover the sun with something else such as a finger or a five-year old. Browse the sun halo gallery for more ideas:

Realtime Sun Halo Photo Gallery

ISS MOON TRANSIT: The Moon is waxing full this week, which means there's more bright territory for spaceships to cross. Yesterday, astrophotographer Maximilian Teodorescu of Dumitrana, Romania, caught the International Space Station passing in front of the Moon in broad daylight:

"In the past I have captured the silhouette of the ISS in front of the Sun or Moon," says Teodorescu. But this time the ISS was not silhouetted. It was even more brightly lit than the Moon behind it. "I photographed them both in plain daylight, with the Sun still hanging at 26 degrees above the horizon."

Travelling at 17,000 mph, the ISS flits across the face of the Moon in only a fraction of a second. Teodorescu knew when to activate his Canon 550D digital camera using precise transit predictions from CalSky.

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  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 June 16, 2013 there were 1397 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 LD2
Jun 10
6 LD
47 m
1999 WC2
Jun 12
39.2 LD
1.9 km
2006 RO36
Jun 18
70.9 LD
1.2 km
2001 PJ9
Jul 17
29.2 LD
1.1 km
2006 BL8
Jul 26
9.3 LD
48 m
2003 DZ15
Jul 29
7.6 LD
153 m
2005 WK4
Aug 9
8.1 LD
420 m
1999 CF9
Aug 23
24.7 LD
1.1 km
2002 JR9
Aug 31
63.5 LD
1.4 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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