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Solar wind
speed: 376.0 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2033 UT Jan29
24-hr: C7
0431 UT Jan29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Jan 14
Sunspot AR1967 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 70
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Jan 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%)

29 Jan 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 157 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Jan 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz: 2.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Jan 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: 01-29-2014 11:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jan 29 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 Jan 29 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
25 %
40 %
25 %
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 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

LUNAR TRANSIT OF THE SUN: On Thursday, Jan. 30th, the Moon will eclipse the sun for almost 2.5 hours. You have to be in space to see it. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory s set to record the "lunar transit," which begins at 1331 UTC or 8:31 EST. A simulation shows that approximately 90% of the sun will covered. SDO is solar powered, so mission controllers have charged-up the spacecraft's batteries to endure the blackout. Stay tuned for images during the eclipse!

SOLAR WIND SPARKS SPECTACULAR AURORAS: Earth is entering a stream of solar wind blowing almost 500 km/s or 1.1 million mph. First contact on Jan. 28th sparked tall curtains of light around the Arctic Circle. Harald Albrigtsen sends this picture of the display from Skulsfjord, Tromsø, Norway:

"At first there was little auroral activity, but being patient paid off," says Albrigtsen. He photographed the explosion of light using a Nikon D600 digital camera set at ISO 3200 iso for 3 seconds.

Arctic photographers, take note of those settings because more auroras are on the way. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% to 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Jan. 29-30 as Earth moves deeper into the solar wind stream. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

ACTIVE SUNSPOT TURNS TOWARD EARTH: Big sunspot AR1967 near the sun's southeastern limb is crackling with solar flares. As Jan. 29th unfolds it is producing an average of one impulsive M-class explosion every two hours. Sam Freeland of the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab produced this "interest-compressed" 12.5 hour movie of the active region:

So far, none of the explosions has been Earth-directed, but future flares will be as the sunspot continues its slow turn toward our planet. NOAA forecasters have doubled the odds of an X-class flare in the next 24 hours to 10%. Meanwhile, M-class flares seem almost certain as the crackling continues. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

The primary dark core of AR1967 is twice as wide as Earth. This makes it an easy target for small telescopes equipped with solar filters. This morning at the Langkawi National Observatory in Malaysia, astronomer Karzaman Ahmad photographed the sunspot using an 11-inch Celestron:

"I wanted to take a closer look at the monster numbered AR1967," says Ahmad. "It is impressive."

For more impressive shots of the monster, browse the gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Supernova 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 Jan. 29, 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]

On Jan. 28, 2014, the network reported 7 fireballs.
(7 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 January 29, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 BZ2
Jan 24
6 LD
35 m
2014 BA3
Jan 26
5.9 LD
10 m
2014 BP8
Jan 26
3.9 LD
15 m
2014 BM25
Jan 28
2.7 LD
10 m
2012 BX34
Jan 28
9.6 LD
13 m
2014 BK25
Jan 28
3.2 LD
14 m
2014 BW32
Feb 3
1.9 LD
27 m
2006 DP14
Feb 10
6.2 LD
730 m
2000 EM26
Feb 18
8.8 LD
195 m
2000 EE14
Mar 6
64.6 LD
1.8 km
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
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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