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Solar wind
speed: 415.3 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2341 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1921 UT Mar26
24-hr: C2
0021 UT Mar26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Mar 15
Sunspot AR2305 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 115
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Mar 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

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%)

Updated 26 Mar 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 138 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Mar 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.5 nT
Bz: 3.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Mar 15

A stream of solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole should reach Earth by the end of March. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for NLCs has come to an end. The last clouds were observed by NASA's AIM spacecraft on Feb. 20, 2015. Now attention shifts to the northern hemisphere, where the first clouds of 2015 should appear in mid-May.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-28-2015 02:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Mar 26 2230 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
25 %
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: 2015 Mar 26 2230 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
40 %
05 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
30 %
25 %
35 %
60 %
Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015
What's up in space

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park.

Lapland tours

SUNSPOT OF INTEREST: Solar activity is low, but sunspot AR2305 is poised to break the quiet. The growing active region has developed a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. AR2305 is facing Earth, so any eruptions on March 26th would surely be geoeffective. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE STRATOSPHERE? Lately, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been launching a lot of Space Weather Bouys. The missions aim to solve a minor mystery in the stratosphere. On March 17th, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle. Shortly after the CME hit, ground-based neutron monitors measured a drop in cosmic rays. Here is an example from the monitoring station in Oulu, Finland:

This drop is called a "Forbush Decrease." It happens because the CME sweeps aside cosmic rays that normally surround Earth, causing radiation levels to drop. The Earth to Sky space weather ballooning program has measured two previous Forbush Decreases, on Sept 13th and Dec 21st, 2014. On both occasions, radiation levels in the stratosphere dropped in sync with neutron counts on the ground.

This time, however, was different. Instead of dropping, radiation in the stratosphere ticked upward. At least that is what the Space Weather Buoys are telling us. This particular buoy was launched on March 17th during the peak of the geomagnetic storm:

So far, the student team has launched balloons with radiation sensors on March 13th, March 17th, March 21st, and March 24th; and more launches in the offing. By sampling the response of the stratosphere to the great storm--both the initial impact and the rebound--they hope to unravel the puzzle. After a few more flights, the team will share the full data set with the public.

This is crowd-funded research. Every one of Earth to Sky's flights is sponsored by a private individual or company. In exchange for a $500 donation, sponsors can have their logo or favorite family photo transported to the edge of space. Readers, if you would like to contribute to the research, please contact Dr. Tony Phillips for details.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

CHASING MOON SHADOWS: Total eclipses of the sun are achingly brief. The Moon's shadow races across the landscape at thousands of kilometers per hour, enveloping sky watchers for a matter of minutes at most. On March 20th, when the Moon passed in front of the sun over the Arctic Ocean, a few observers extended the experience--in an airplane. "Flying at 14,000 m was an incredible way to watch the eclipse," reports Sylvain Chapeland. "Our velocity of 950 km/h allowed an extra minute of totality." She recorded this must-see video over a stretch of ocean between Iceland and the Faroe Islands:

"I have never seen anything like the shadow of the Moon rushing upon us during totality, overtaking us and continuing its path at 3000 km/h," says Chapeland. "This was a dramatic perspective. Our view of the sun's corona with Venus shining on the east side were incredible."

Want to spend even more time in the shadow of the Moon? Take your time browsing's solar eclipse photo gallery:

Realtime Eclipse Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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. 26, 2015, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(9 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 26, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 FW33
Mar 23
9.6 LD
29 m
2015 FP35
Mar 23
11.3 LD
60 m
2015 FO34
Mar 23
6.4 LD
13 m
2015 FN34
Mar 25
8 LD
20 m
2015 FL35
Mar 25
10.2 LD
60 m
2015 FX33
Mar 26
13.8 LD
29 m
2015 FC
Mar 26
2.9 LD
20 m
2014 YB35
Mar 27
11.6 LD
715 m
2015 FH37
Mar 27
8.9 LD
46 m
2015 FP
Mar 28
9.6 LD
40 m
2015 FF36
Mar 28
3.5 LD
23 m
2015 FT117
Mar 28
2.8 LD
9 m
2015 FW117
Apr 1
3.6 LD
116 m
2015 CW13
Apr 3
13.5 LD
109 m
2015 FN33
Apr 6
9.8 LD
25 m
2063 Bacchus
Apr 7
76 LD
1.6 km
2005 KA
Apr 12
13 LD
50 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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