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Solar wind
speed: 400.0 km/sec
density: 8.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2044 UT Sep30
24-hr: C2
0444 UT Sep30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Sept 14
Sunspot AR2175 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Also, sunspots AR2172, AR2173, and AR2177 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that pose a threat for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 160
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Sep 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%)

Update 30
Sep 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 175 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Sep 2014

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: 6.4 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Sep 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. . 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: 09-02-2014 12:55:12
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Sep 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
65 %
55 %
15 %
10 %
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 Sep 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
35 %
25 %
Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014
What's up in space

On October 8th there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. Got clouds? No problem. The event will be broadcast live on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center.

Lunar Eclipse Live

SPACE WEATHER BUOY LANDS IN DEATH VALLEY: A space weather buoy launched on Sept. 28th to measure radiation levels in the stratosphere has landed in a remote area of California's Death Valley National Park. Students from Earth to Sky Calculus are en route to the payload now. Earlier this month a CME swept away many of the cosmic rays that normally surround our planet, causing a drop in stratospheric radiation. The goal of the Sept. 28th flight was to measure the recovery. Has the stratosphere returned to normal? Stay tuned for answers.

GEOMAGNETIC UNREST: Earth's polar magnetic field is unsettled, causing polar skies to turn green. "For the third time in four days our group experienced a light show that was out of this world," reports aurora tour guide Chad Blakley from Sweden's Abisko National Park. "Last night, after several hours of stormy weather the clouds parted like curtains on a stage allowing us to see some of the strongest auroras of the season."

The ongoing display is a result of our planet's response to the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The IMF has tipped south, slightly, just enough to open a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind is leaking in to fuel the auroras.

"If the next six months are anything like September we are going to have an amazing aurora season," says Blakely.

The nights ahead could be amazing too. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% to 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms from Sept. 30th through Oct. 2nd. Monitor the aurora gallery for sightings. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

CHANCE OF FLARES: There are eight sunspot groups on the Earthside of the sun. Fully half of them pose a threat for strong solar flares. An eruption today could come from any of the circled regions:

AR2175 is the most potent of the quartet. It has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. The other three have "beta-gamma" magnetic fields that pose a threat for lesser albeit still powerful M-flares.

The sunspot of greatest interest is AR2177 because it is turning toward Earth. Karzaman Ahmad of the Langkawi National Observatory in Maylaysia captured the sunspot group, seething with low-level activity, in this dramatic starscape on Sept. 30th:

Any eruptions from AR2177 in the days ahead will almost surely be geoeffective.

Mindful of the multiple flare threats, NOAA forecasters say an eruption is likely. They estimate a 75% chance of M-flares and a 20% chance of X-flares on Sept. 30th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather 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 Sep. 30, 2014, the network reported 33 fireballs.
(33 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 September 30, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 SS261
Sep 28
6.4 LD
23 m
2014 SS260
Sep 28
2.8 LD
21 m
2014 SS143
Sep 29
3.6 LD
18 m
2014 SH224
Sep 29
2.3 LD
26 m
2014 SZ144
Sep 29
3.9 LD
38 m
2014 NE52
Sep 30
61.2 LD
1.1 km
2014 SX261
Oct 3
8.9 LD
145 m
2014 SB145
Oct 6
4.4 LD
23 m
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 km
2011 TB4
Oct 9
5.8 LD
34 m
2010 FV9
Oct 11
8.7 LD
36 m
2003 UC20
Oct 31
52.4 LD
1.0 km
2004 JN13
Nov 18
52.4 LD
4.1 km
1998 SS49
Nov 18
73.9 LD
3.2 km
2005 UH3
Nov 22
44.4 LD
1.3 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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