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Solar wind
speed: 453.8 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1743 UT Oct16
24-hr: C8
1432 UT Oct16
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 16 Oct 13
Sunspot AR1865 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 148
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 16 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

16 Oct 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 125 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 16 Oct 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.8 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 16 Oct 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on Oct. 21-22. 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 16 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 16 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
20 %
20 %
15 %
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 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 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.

CRACKLING SUNSPOT: Sunspot AR1865 is crackling with C- and M-class solar flares, at least one every few hours. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme UV flash from this M1-flare at 23:36 UT on Oct. 15th:

The UV pulse from this flare caused a minor wave of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere over the Pacific side of our planet, but otherwise no effects.

Stronger flares could be in the offing. The sunspot has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class eruptions. By crackling, however, the active region might be "blowing off steam" that prevents a really big blast. NOAA forecasters estimate a mere 1% chance of X-class flares in the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 15th @ 10:00 UT, jolting a magnetic field already shaken by a gusty solar wind stream. The combination sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Oskar Pettersson photographed this display above LuleƄ, Sweden:

"Auroras were covering much of the sky with vivid colors in green, purple and red," says Pettersson. "They were some of the best I've seen this season."

Another CME is approaching Earth. NOAA forecasters expect a weak impact on Oct. 16 with a 30% chance of polar magnetic storms on Oct. 17th. More auroras are possible at high latitudes. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

COLORFUL CONJUNCTION: If you're awake at 5 am, go outside and face east. About halfway up the sky, the red planet Mars and the blue star Regulus are side by side, forming a 1st-magnitude "double star" in the pre-dawn sky. David Marshall photographed the colorful duo on the morning of Oct. 16th from Christ Church, Barbados:

Look carefully to the left of red Mars. The "duo" is actually a trio: Comet ISON is there, too. "Comet ISON, Mars and Regulus are quite a photogenic threesome!" says Marshall.

While Mars and Regulus are easily seen with the unaided eye, Comet ISON requires optics. The comet is far away, near the orbit of Mars, and glows like an 11th magnitude star. Marshall was able to photograph it by stacking 44 one-minute exposures from his Canon 7D digital camera.

Backyard telescopes reveal the comet much faster than a digital camera. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. And while you're there, look up to enjoy the colorful conjunction. It's a nice way to begin the day.

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 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 Oct. 16, 2013, the network detected 15 fireballs.
(12 sporadics, 1 chi Taurid, 1 southern Taurid, 1 Orionid)

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 16, 2013 there were 1434 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
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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