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Solar wind
speed: 280.5 km/sec
density: 5.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1925 UT Aug24
24-hr: M5
1217 UT Aug24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Aug 14
Sunspots AR2151 and AR2149 pose a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 124
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 Aug 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%)

24 Aug 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 132 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 24 Aug 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: 3.9 nT
Bz: 3.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Aug 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: 08-24-2014 14:55:07
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Aug 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
55 %
55 %
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 Aug 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
35 %
01 %
15 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
20 %
05 %
15 %
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014
What's up in space

New from Edge of Space Advertising. Send your product or message to the edge of space for a down-to-Earth fee.  Profits support student space weather research. Email Dr. Tony Phillips for more information.

Edge of Space Advertising

MINOR STORM WARNING: A CME is heading for Earth. The relatively slow-moving storm cloud left the sun on Aug. 22nd and looks like it will take 4 days to cross the sun-Earth divide. NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of polar geomagetic storms on Aug. 26th when the CME arrives. Aurora alerts: text, voice

"M" FOR MAGNIFICENT: In the vocabulary of space weather, an "M-flare" is a medium-sized explosion. Today's M5.6-class eruption, however, was magnificent. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast:

An explosion in the magnetic canopy of emerging sunspot AR2151 hurled a dense and twised plume of plasma into space. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) recorded a bright coronal mass ejection emerging from the blast site: movie. If this CME were to ht Earth, the likely result would be strong geomagnetic storms. However, because of the sunspot's location near the sun's eastern horizon, Earth was not in the line of fire.

Nevertheless, the flare did produce some Earth effects. A pulse of extreme UV radiation partially ionized our planet's upper atmosphere. This "Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance" (SID) altered the normal propagation of VLF (very low frequency) radio transmissions over the the dayside of Earth, an effect recorded at the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway: data.

This sunspot will turn toward Earth in the days ahead, which means subsequent explosions could be more geoeffective. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

MORNING SKY SHOW: On Saturday morning, Aug. 23rd, Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon converged to form a bright triangle in the pre-dawn sky. On Sunday morning the triangle dispersed. Pete Lawrence photographed the break-up from the seashore in Selsey, West Sussex, UK:

"Venus and Jupiter were easy targets this morning, but the thin (4%) crescent Moon was a different matter!" says Lawrence. "It was almost invisible in the red glow of sunrise."

Did you oversleep on Saturday? No problem. Another "celestial triangle" is in the offing. Right now the Moon is passing the sun en route to the evening sky. On August 31st it will join Mars and Saturn in the constellation Libra. Visible after sunset, the new triangle won't be quite as luminous as the old one, because Mars + Saturn is not as bright as Venus + Jupiter, but the formaton will still be very pretty. Mark your calendar for the end of the month and, until then, browse the gallery to see what you missed.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

STRATOSPHERIC SPACE WEATHER BUOY LAUNCHED: An 8-foot diameter ball of helium can be hard to handle. Just ask the students of Earth to Sky Calculus. Yesterday, one of their space weather balloons got caught in a gust of wind and almost got away:

For a good laugh, listen to the soundtrack of this launch video. Despite the troubles, the balloon did make it safely off the ground, marking the group's 58th successful launch. This particular flight was part of a year-long campaign to find out how the stratosphere responds to solar storms. The payload carrried cameras, GPS altimeters, a cryogenic thermometer, and a cosmic radiation detector more than 100,000 feet above sea level. Sensors gathered data for 2.5 hours before parachuting back to Earth. A student team is recovering the payload now. Stay tuned for updates later this weekend.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

Realtime NLC 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 Aug. 24, 2014, the network reported 12 fireballs.
(10 sporadics, 2 kappa Cygnids)

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 August 24, 2014 there were 1495 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 QY33
Aug 30
6.5 LD
23 m
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
2006 GQ2
Sep 19
65.9 LD
1.1 km
2009 FG19
Sep 26
34.6 LD
1.1 km
2014 NE52
Sep 30
61.2 LD
1.1 km
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 km
2011 TB4
Oct 9
5.8 LD
34 m
2003 UC20
Oct 31
52.4 LD
1.0 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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