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Solar wind
speed: 317.6 km/sec
density: 7.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: X2
2154 UT Oct29
24-hr: X2
2154 UT Oct29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Oct 13
Sunspots AR1882 and AR1885 have delta-class magnetic fields that harbor energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 155
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 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

29 Oct 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 160 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Oct 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.0 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Oct 13
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. 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 29 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
25 %
25 %
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 29 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
45 %
05 %
20 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
20 %
20 %
35 %
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013
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

SPOOKY AURORAS? NOAA forcasters estimate a 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Oct. 31st when a CME is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. It was propelled in our direction by an M4-class flare from sunspot AR1882 on Oct. 28th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Halloween. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

X-FLARE! Earth orbiting satellites have just detected another strong solar flare, this one from departing sunspot AR1875. The blast, which peaked on Oct. 29th at approximately 2148 UT (02:48 PDT), measured X2 on the Richter Scale of Solar Flares. NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash:

Radiation storms and polar radio blackouts are possible in the hours ahead. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON UPDATE: Members of the Earth to Sky Calculus team have recovered the space weather balloon they launched on Oct. 27th. The payload, which landed in a remote area of California's Inyo Mountains, carried two high-energy radiation sensors into the stratosphere. These pictures show the erupting balloon and one of the sensors at the apex of the flight, 27 km (90,500 feet) above Earth's surface:

The reading on the LCD screen shows a dose rate of 3.7 uSv/hour, more than 20 times higher than radiation levels at the launch site. Another independent sensor was contained inside a thermally insulated capsule. Working together, the two sensors measured a complete profile of ionizing radiation from 2.8 km to 27 km above Earth's surface.

This experiment was prompted by a recent NASA report concerning the effects of space weather on aviation. Like astronauts, ordinary air travelers can be exposed to significant doses of radiation when the sun is active. The Oct. 27th flight showed that it is possible to count x-rays, gamma-rays, alpha particles and beta particles using relatively inexpensive equipment. Such data can be used to check and improve research models of radiation percolating through Earth's atmosphere.

Another balloon flight could be in the offing. Solar activity is high, and a new fusillade of X-flares could trigger a radiation storm around Earth. If so, the student scientists plan to send their sensors back to the stratosphere for another look. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SUNSPOTS MOST LIKELY TO FLARE: The sun is dotted with spots, and three of them pose a threat for strong eruptions. Today's sunspots most-likely-to-flare are circled in this Oct. 29th image of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

AR1875, AR1882 and AR1885 have 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic fields that harbor energy for X-class solar flares. One of these spots in particular, AR1882, is almost directly facing Earth, so any eruptions it unleashes would almost surely be geoeffective. NOAA forecasters estimate a 70% chance of M-class flares and a 35% chance of X-flares on Oct. 29th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

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. 29, 2013, the network reported 18 fireballs.
(13 sporadics, 5 Orionids)

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 29, 2013 there were 1435 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 UX2
Oct 25
0.4 LD
6 m
2013 UV3
Oct 29
0.7 LD
19 m
2013 UE1
Nov 7
7.4 LD
60 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49 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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