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Solar wind
speed: 577.3 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2300 UT Nov09
24-hr: C2
0638 UT Nov09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Nov 13
Big sunspot AR1890 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 160
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Nov 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

09 Nov 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 146 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 Nov 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: 4.3 nT
Bz: 2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 09 Nov 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 Nov 09 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
50 %
20 %
20 %
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 Nov 09 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
25 %
40 %
25 %
Saturday, Nov. 9, 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

CHANCE OF FLARES: Big sunspot AR1890 has quieted since yesterday's X-flare, but this could be the calm before the storm. The sprawling Jupiter-sized sunspot has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong flares. NOAA forecaters estimate a 60% chance of M-class flares and a 30% chance of X-flares on Nov. 9th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

COMET ISON NOW A BINOCULAR OBJECT: Comet ISON is brightening as it approaches the sun. Multiple observers now report that it is a binocular object. "I finally saw Comet ISON for the first time using small binoculars!" says pilot Brian Whittaker. He was flying 38,000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea on Nov. 8th when he took this picture showing where to look:

"It was faint, but is predicted to brighten and move each day," he adds. "Exciting! "

"I have made my first confirmed binocular sighting of C/2012 S1 ISON as well," reports Pete Lawrence of Selsey UK on Nov. 9th. "ISON's head appears small and stellar through a pair of 15x70s optics."

Comet ISON is currently moving through the constellation Virgo low in the eastern sky before dawn. Shining like an 8th magnitude star, it is still too dim for naked eye viewing, but an increasingly easy target for backyard optics. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. Special dates of interest are Nov. 17th and 18th when the comet will pass the bright star Spica. Sky maps: Nov. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Don't delay, because Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous encounter on Nov. 28th. At closest approach, the comet will be deep inside the sun's corona and little more than a million kilometers from the fiery stellar surface. If ISON survives--a big IF--it could emerge from solar fire as a naked-eye comet for northern-hemisphere observers in December. Monitoring is encouraged!

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

BRIGHTER THAN ISON: Comet ISON is getting all the press, but it's not even the brightest comet in its own patch of sky. That would be Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1), one of four comets now rising in the east before dawn:

Image credits: Sormano Astronomical Observatory (Nov. 7, 2013)

Pictured from left to right are exploding Comet LINEAR X1, sungrazing Comet ISON, short-period Comet Encke, and the brightest of them all, Comet Lovejoy. All four are visible in binoculars or backyard telescopes, and Comet Lovejoy (mag. +6.0) is visible to the naked eye from dark-sky sites. Comet ISON is actually one of the faintest of the group; only expanding Comet LINEAR X1 (mag. +8) is more difficult to see.

An apparition of so many comets at once is a rare thing, and amateur astronomers are encouraged to wake up early for a tour of the pre-dawn sky. Dates of special interest include Nov. 15-18 when Comet LINEAR X1 passes by the bright star Arcturus, Nov 17-18 when Comet ISON has a close encounter with Spica, and Nov. 18-20 when Comet Encke buzzes Mercury. These stars and planets make excellent naked-eye guideposts for finding the comets. Meanwhile, bright Comet Lovejoy is approaching the Big Dipper; if you can't see it with your unaided eye, a quick scan with binoculars will reveal it. Sky maps: Nov. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Comet ephemerides: Comet ISON, Comet Lovejoy, Comet Encke, Comet LINEAR X1

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A gusty stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking auroras around both of our planet's poles on Nov. 9th. Early this morning, Anne Birgitte Fyhn composed this self-portrait on the beach at Kvaløya Island in Tromsø, Norway:

"The lazy waves slowly washed the beach as the auroras danced overhead," she says.

A stronger display of beach-lights might be in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% of polar geomagnetic storms on Nov. 11 when a CME from yesterday's X-flare might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Galleryy

  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 Nov. 9, 2013, the network reported 15 fireballs.
(11 sporadics, 4 Northern Taurids)

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 November 9, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 VN5
Nov 3
1.3 LD
13 m
2013 VG2
Nov 4
2.6 LD
23 m
2013 VH2
Nov 7
8.5 LD
15 m
2013 UE1
Nov 7
7.4 LD
57 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 14
6.7 LD
54 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
2007 SJ
Jan 21
18.9 LD
1.9 km
2012 BX34
Jan 28
9.6 LD
13 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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