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Solar wind
speed: 454.8 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2046 UT May02
24-hr: M1
0510 UT May02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 May 13
Sunspots AR1730 and AR1731 have delta-class magnetic fields that habor energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 151
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 May 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

02 May 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 159 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 May 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: 3.4 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 May 13
Solar wind flowing from this minor coronal hole should reach Earth on ~May 6-7. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 May 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
05 %
05 %
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 May 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
15 %
20 %
10 %
10 %
Thursday, May. 2, 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

CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters have raised the odds of an M-class solar flare today to 45%. There are at least two sunspots capable of producing such an eruption: AR1730 and AR1731. Sunspot AR1731 is located near the center of the solar disk, so any eruptions from that one will be Earth-directed. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

MOOOO-VING UP--EDGE OF SPACE ADVERTISING: To fund space weather experiments in the stratosphere, science students in Bishop, California, have started a new business: Edge of Space Advertising. For a fee, they'll fly ad banners, shoes, US presidents--you name it!--to the edge of space. On April 22nd (Earth Day), they launched a cow:

This is EVA, the mascot of New Zealand Internet service provider EOL. Last month, she traveled from Tauranga, New Zealand, to an Edge-of-Space Port in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. There, students attached EVA to the payload of a helium balloon and launched her to the stratosphere 120,000 feet above Earth's surface. Along the way she experienced temperatures as low as -65o C and air pressures only 1% of sea level--much like conditions on the planet Mars. At the end of the 3-hour flight, the balloon popped and EVA parachuted back to Earth, touching down in a remote corner of Death Valley. GPS signals led the students to the landing site, where they recovered EVA covered with desert dust but still smiling.

The name of the student group is "Earth to Sky Calculus." Mentored by Dr. Tony Phillips of, they are actively exploring the stratosphere--measuring the effect of solar flares on the ozone layer, capturing high-altitude bacteria, and photographing meteor showers. The profits are going to a good cause.

EVA's flight to the stratosphere and the student's recovery expedition through Death Valley has generated a flurry of news coverage for EOL in New Zealand. In short, Edge of Space Advertising really works. Interested? Contact Dr. Tony Phillips for rates and details.

FARSIDE ERUPTION: As the odds of a flare on the Earthside of the sun tick upward, flares on the farside of the sun are already underway. Yesterday, an active region located behind the sun's eastern limb hurled a plume of red-hot debris into space:

Coronagraph images from SOHO and NASA's twin STEREO probes confirm that a CME emerged from the blast site: movie. Venus could received a glancing blow from the electrified cloud on May 3rd. Next week, Earth will enter the line of fire as the sun's rotation turns the active region toward our planet. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Note: iPhone and iPad users can track events on the farside of the sun using NASA's 3D Sun app. Download it now!

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

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

  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 May 2, 2013 there were 1397 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2005 NZ6
Apr 29
24.9 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr 30
74.3 LD
1.1 km
2004 BV102
May 25
69.9 LD
1.4 km
1998 QE2
May 31
15.2 LD
2.1 km
2000 FM10
Jun 5
50.3 LD
1.3 km
2002 KL3
Jun 6
66.4 LD
1.1 km
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
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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