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Solar wind
speed: 363.9 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
2009 UT Jul26
24-hr: C1
1320 UT Jul26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jul 14
Sunspot AR2121 poses a slight threat for minor C-class solar flares. Overall, solar activity remains low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 65
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Jul 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)

26 Jul 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 107 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Jul 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.8 nT
Bz: 5.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Jul 14
A stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on July 28-29 Credit: SDO/AIA. posts 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: 07-26-2014 13:55:06
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jul 26 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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: 2014 Jul 26 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
30 %
01 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
20 %
10 %
20 %
Saturday, Jul. 26, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

SUNSPOT CORPSES: The return of old sunspots AR2107 and AR2108 from the farside of the sun has failed to elevate solar activity. The two formerly-active regions decayed during their two week absence and are now little more than "sunspot corpses." Forecasters expect the quiet sun to remain quiet throughout the weekend. Follow the action, or lack thereof, on Twitter @spaceweatherman.

AURORA SURPRISE: Auroras were *not* in the forecast this weekend. Nevertheless, "they're baaaaaaack," reports Bob Conzemius, who saw the Northern Lights on July 26th over Grand Rapids, Minnesota:

"It has been a pretty quiet summer in northern Minnesota for seeing auroras, so it was nice to see them again," says Conzemius. "I shot entirely within the city limits of Grand Rapids, starting from my front yard and ending at McKinney Lake as it was getting light at 4:00 AM CDT."

The source of this unexpected display was a fluctuation in the interplanetary magnetic field. The IMF tipped south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetospere. Solar wind poured in and ignited the auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SOUTHERN DELTA AQUARIID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from Comet 96P/Machholz, source of the annual Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower. Forecasters expect as many as 20 meteors per hour to fly out of the constellation Aquarius on July 29-30 when the shower peaks. Already, NASA meteor cameras are detecting a smattering of fireballs--like this one over New Mexico on July 25th:

Although the shower favors the southern hemisphere, it is possible to see Southern Delta Aquariids from the north, too, as the video above shows. The best time to look is during the hours between local midnight and sunrise.

Got clouds? Try listening to the Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower on Space Weather Radio. The audio stream is playing echoes from a forward-scatter meteor radar in Roswell, New Mexico. Also, NASA will stream the shower from an observing site at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. Live video begins on July 29th at 9:30 pm EDT.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

VEINS OF HEAVEN: The luminous tendrils of noctilucent clouds (NLCs) have been likened to "frozen lightning", slow-moving bolts of electric-blue that slowly zig-zag across the twilight sky during the months of Arctic summer. Last night photographer P-M Hedén witnessed a display over Hedesunda, Sweden, that suggested a different name. He calls them "veins of Heaven":

"I was really hoping for a good show because my children came along to watch," says Hedén. "We were not disappointed. From the beginning at 23:00 local time we saw noctilucent clouds all around the sky - amazing! Around 1 a.m. we had veins of Heaven both in the sky and reflected in the water."

Seeded by meteor smoke, are Earth's highest clouds. They glow electric-blue when sunlight strikes them more than 80 km above Earth's surface. The fine structure that resembles lightning and evokes "heavenly veins" is not fully understood. This is just one of many mysteries about NLCs that NASA has sent its AIM spacecraft to investigate.

The natural habitat of noctilucent clouds is the Arctic Circle. In recent years, however, they have spread to lower latitudes with sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This may yet happen in 2014. Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see blue-white tendrils zig-zagging across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime NLC 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 Jul. 26, 2014, the network reported 19 fireballs.
( 19 sporadics)

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 July 26, 2014 there were 1493 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 OP2
Jul 24
0.5 LD
7 m
2002 JN97
Aug 2
61.4 LD
2.0 km
2001 RZ11
Aug 17
34.2 LD
2.2 km
2013 WT67
Aug 17
16.1 LD
1.1 km
2013 RZ53
Sep 9
1.9 LD
3 m
2002 CE26
Sep 9
47.9 LD
1.8 km
2009 RR
Sep 16
2 LD
34 m
2006 GQ2
Sep 19
65.9 LD
1.1 km
2009 FG19
Sep 26
34.6 LD
1.1 km
2014 NE52
Sep 30
61.2 LD
1.0 km
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 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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