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Solar wind
speed: 349.6 km/sec
density: 4.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2052 UT Jul13
24-hr: C6
0903 UT Jul13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jul 14
Departing sunspot AR2108 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that poses a threat for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 145
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Jul 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

13 Jul 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 145 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Jul 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 10.6 nT
Bz: 1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Jul 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: 07-13-2014 14:55:05
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jul 13 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
40 %
10 %
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: 2014 Jul 13 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
25 %
20 %
20 %
20 %
Sunday, Jul. 13, 2014
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

INCOMING CME, UPDATE: A CME expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on July 13th is late arriving. Nevertheless, NOAA analysts think it is still en route, and they estimate a 20% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 13-14. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Follow the action @spaceweatherman.

DEPARTING SUNSPOTS: The threat of an Earth-directed flare is subsiding as sunspots AR2108 and AR2109 rotate off the solar disk. Maximilian Teodorescu of Magurele (Ilfov), Romania, took this picture of the departing behemoths on July 13th:

Although the sunspots are no longer facing Earth, and will soon disappear altogether, the threat of solar activity is not completely extinguished. From the sun's western limb, the solar magnetic field curves back toward Earth. If these sunspots flare as they crest the western limb, the explosion will be well connected to our planet, magnetically speaking. Charged particles would be guided in our direction, possibly causing a radiation storm around Earth.

First, however, we need a flare, and these sunspots do not seem inclined to oblige. Despite their size and potent magnetic fields, neither sunspot has produced a significant eruption in almost two weeks. The forecast calls for quiet. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: The weekend of July 12-13 brought another outbreak of noctilucent clouds (NLCs) to Europe. Across the northern reaches of the continent, skies were criss-crossed by signature ripples of electric blue, like these photographed by Jaan Jalgratas of Tartu, Estonia:

"The display was very bright and it extended at least 35 degrees above the horizon," says Jalgratas. "It was my best sighting ever."

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. Seeded by "meteor smoke," they form at the edge of space 83 km above Earth's surface. When sunlight hits the tiny ice crystals that make up these clouds, they glow electric blue.

In the northern hemisphere, July is the best month to see them. NLCs appear during summer because that is when water molecules are wafted up from the lower atmosphere to mix with the meteor smoke. That is also, ironically, when the upper atmosphere is coldest, allowing the ice crystals of NLCs to form.

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 will likely happen in 2014 as well. 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

FLY ME TO THE SUPERMOON: The Moon's orbit around Earth is not a circle, it's an ellipse. When a full Moon occurs on the near side of the orbit, it looks extra big and bright, and we call it a "supermoon." The first of three such full Moons arrived on July 12th:

"This weekend I was on my deck taking some zoom photos of the supermoon when an airplane flew by," says photographer Ralfo Winter. "It was coming in for a landing at New York City."

As explained in a video from Science@NASA, the technical term for this phenomenon is "perigee Moon." A nearby perigee Moon can be 14% brighter and 30% bigger than other full Moons of the year. This kind of Moon is not particularly rare; they come along every 13 months, more or less. However, this summer we will have three supermoons in a row. The next one is August 12th. Book your ticket now.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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. 13, 2014, the network reported 5 fireballs.
( 5 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 13, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 AG69
Jul 8
2.7 LD
15 m
2014 MF6
Jul 9
9.1 LD
310 m
2011 PU1
Jul 17
7.9 LD
43 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
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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