You are viewing the page for Mar. 15, 2014
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids Internet Shopping Sites high quality binoculars excellent weather stations all-metal reflector telescopes rotatable microscopes
Solar wind
speed: 392.7 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C6
1715 UT Mar15
24-hr: C6
1715 UT Mar15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 15 Mar 14
The magnetic field of AR2002 is slowly decaying, decreasing the chances of a flare from this large sunspot. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 121
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Mar 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%)

15 Mar 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 144 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 15 Mar 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: 3.6 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 15 Mar 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: 02-28-2014 16:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Mar 15 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
10 %
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 Mar 15 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
25 %
20 %
20 %
15 %
Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014
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

MOTHER'S DAY AT THE EDGE OF SPACE: Looking for a unique gift for mom? How about an Edge of Space Mother's Day Card? On March 16th, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus will launch a helium balloon to the stratosphere. For only $49.95, your mother's day, father's day, birthday or anniversary card could be on the payload. Profits from the flight are used to support the students' space weather balloon research program. Contact Dr. Tony Phillips for details.

AURORA STORM: On March 12th, an unexpected geomagnetic storm erupted around the Arctic Circle. The G1-class event was mostly minor, but a few longitudes experienced something more. Over the Finnish Lapland, geomagnetic activity and the auroras it sparked were locally intense. Juan Carlos Casado photographed the display from Saariselkä, a mountain village in northern Finland:

"I took these pictures from the longest toboggan run in the world, in Saariselkä,using a circular fisheye lens,' says Casado. "I was with a group of observers and the reactions of people were very emotional, with shouts, laughter and tears in the eyes!"

"Time marks inserted in the full-sized image give an idea of the speed of the phenomenon," he continues. "You can see the big bang of activity (top right) and how only in two minutes the whole sky is filled with auroras."

The unexpected storm was caused by a fluctuation in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). As March 12th turned to 13th, the IMF tilted south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fueled the display. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

DARK FILAMENTS ON THE SUN: Amateur astronomers are noting an outbreak of dark magnetic filaments on the sun. The longest, which measure 100,000 km to 250,000 km from end to end, are snaking around the sun's southeastern limb. Sergio Castillo sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Inglewood, CA:

"If they collapse, these monster solar filaments could produce a Hyder flare," says Castillo. Indeed, he continues, "one of them erupted just yesterday."

With all of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun currently quieting, these filaments could be the source of greatest solar activity this weekend. Amateur astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SOLAR ECLIPSE: This morning there was a total eclipse of the sun. No one on Earth, however, experienced a blackout. You had to be in Earth orbit to see it. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the event at 06:24 UT:

Earth itself passed directly in front of the spacecraft, eclipsing the sun. The image, above, shows about 50% coverage. A moment later, the entire sun was gone.

This is SDO's spring eclipse season. Twice every year, around the time of the equinoxes, Earth can pass directly between the Sun and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. At the moment, SDO is near the midpoint of the season when the eclipses are longest and deepest. Once a day, Earth blocks the complete sun for more than an hour. That still allows almost 23 hours for monitoring solar activity, so not much action is missed. Eclipse season ends about a week from now. 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 Mar. 15, 2014, the network reported 6 fireballs.
(6 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 March 15, 2014 there were 1461 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 EP12
Mar 14
2.9 LD
33 m
2014 EB25
Mar 14
2.7 LD
16 m
2014 DU22
Mar 14
7.9 LD
60 m
2014 EM
Mar 15
4.3 LD
36 m
2014 EY24
Mar 18
8.5 LD
73 m
2003 QQ47
Mar 26
49.9 LD
1.4 km
1995 SA
Apr 2
73.1 LD
1.6 km
2000 HD24
Apr 4
42.2 LD
1.3 km
2007 HB15
Apr 28
6.7 LD
12 m
2010 JO33
May 17
4 LD
43 m
2005 UK1
May 20
36.7 LD
1.1 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...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.