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Solar wind
speed: 359.0 km/sec
density: 7.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
1850 UT Aug28
24-hr: C1
1520 UT Aug28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Aug 14
Sunspot AR2146 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 82
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 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%)

28 Aug 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 123 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Aug 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.7 nT
Bz: 4.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 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: 08-27-2014 13:55:09
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Aug 28 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
01 %
01 %
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 28 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
15 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
15 %
20 %
10 %
Thursday, Aug. 28, 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

CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class flares and a 5% chance of X-flares on Aug. 28th. The likely source is sunspot AR2146, which has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong eruptions. The geoeffectiveness of any flares from this region will be mitigated, however, by its off-center location on the solar disk. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY: Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from a pair of CME strikes on August 27th. Although neither impact was particularly strong, the internal magnetic structure of the two solar storm clouds was just right for auroras. Last night, Alan Dyer photographed the display over the Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada. Click to view a complete panorama:

"I shot this at the old pioneer Larson Ranch site in the Frenchman River valley just as the magnetic storm of Aug 27/28 hit its peak, covering much of the northern sky and lighting the ground and ranch buildings green," says Dyer. "The Larsons ran their ranch from the 1920s until 1985 when theirs became first land to be bought for the new Grasslands National Park. This is a stitch of 8 segments, each shot with the 15mm full-frame fish-eye lens at f/3.2 and Canon 6D at ISO 2500 for 1 minute each."

The CMEs that instigated the display were launched toward Earth on Aug. 22nd. As NOAA analysts predicted, the solar wind speed did not change much when the slow-moving CMEs arrived. However, the storm clouds were still effective because they contained a south-pointing magnetic field that opened a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in to fuel the show.

High-latitude sky watchers, if it is dark where you live, remain alert for auroras. Solar wind conditions continue to favor geomagnetic activity as August 28th unfolds. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

TWILIGHT TRIANGLE: Go outside just after sunset and look southwest. Something there will make you do a double-take. Mars and Saturn have converged alongside the second brightest star in Libra to form a pretty twilight triangle:

"It was an amazing triangle," says photographer Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland. The planets are labeled in Nikodem's photo, but that star is not. That's because its name wouldn't fit. The second brightest star in Libra is Zubenelgenubi. Pronounced "zoo-BEN-el-je-NEW-bee," it is a double star 77 light years from Earth easily split by binoculars or a small backyard telescope.

Soon, the threesome will become a foursome. The crescent Moon will pass through the triangle on August 30th and 31st. On those evenings, in the time it takes to scan your telescope around a small patch of sky, you can see a double star, the rings of Saturn, the red disk of Mars, and the cratered landscape of the Moon. Mark your calendar!

Realtime Space Weather 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. 28, 2014, the network reported 27 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 2 Southern delta Aquariids)

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 28, 2014 there were 1495 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 QY33
Aug 30
6.5 LD
24 m
2014 QO295
Aug 31
4.7 LD
16 m
2014 QT295
Sep 5
6.8 LD
24 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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