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Solar wind
speed: 302.2 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1848 UT Jul30
24-hr: C9
1618 UT Jul30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Jul 14
Sunspots AR2126, AR2127 and AR2130 have complex magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 160
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Jul 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%)

30 Jul 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 142 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Jul 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.1 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Jul 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: 07-30-2014 11:55:08
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jul 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
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: 2014 Jul 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
Wednesday, Jul. 30, 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.

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PERSEID METEORS: The Perseid meteor rate is increasing as Earth moves deeper into the debris stream of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Last night, NASA's network of all-sky cameras recorded 6 Perseid fireballs, equal to the sum of the previous five nights combined. Although the shower does not peak until the 2nd week of August, now is a good time to look for these meteors because the night sky is relatively free of lunar glare. Peak night, on the other hand, will be lit up by a supermoon. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

THE MARS COMET APPROACHES: On Oct. 19, 2014, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will pass extremely close to Mars. For a while last year researchers thought the comet's core might strike the planet's surface. Now we know that it will be a near miss. Siding Spring will glide by Mars 132,000 km away--ten times closer than any comet has come to Earth in recorded history. On July 27th, Rolando Ligustri photographed the comet gliding through a field of galaxies en route to Mars:

"I took the picture using a telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia (where the comet was discovered)," says Ligustri. " The big galaxy to the south of the comet is NGC1316."

Although the comet's nucleus will not strike Mars, there is a good chance that gas and dust spewing out of the comet's core will interact with the Martian atmosphere. There could be a meteor shower, auroras, and other effects that no one can predict. NASA's fleet of Mars spacecraft and rovers will record whatever happens.

Amateur astronomers can monitor the comet's approach to Mars in the months ahead. Right now, Siding Spring is gliding through the southern constellation Fornax glowing about as brightly as a 12th magntitude star. Mid-sized telescopes such as the Comet Hunter equipped with CCD cameras should have no trouble picking it up. [light curve] [ephemeris] [3D orbit]

ONE WEEK TO THE ROSETTA COMET: The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft is now less than 1700 km from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In only 7 days, Rosetta will reach the comet's core and go into orbit around it. Latest images from the probe's navigation camera show a strangely-shaped nucleus that is coming into sharper focus day by day. Follow the action @ESA_Rosetta.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Magnetic filament update: The sinuous filament pictured below has erupted, and might might have hurled a coronal mass ejection in the general direction of Earth. Stay tuned.

DARK FILAMENT ON THE SUN: As the sunspot number rebounds from a deep low in mid-July, the chance of flares is increasing, too. However, the biggest threat for a flare today might not be a sunspot at all. Instead, our attention turns to a long dark filament of magnetism:

Astrophotograher Jack Newton photographed the structure on July 29th from his observatory in Osoyoos, British Columbia. Stretching more than 100,000 km from end to end, and filled with dense plasma, the sinuous filament is held aloft by solar magnetic fields. If it snaps or collapses and hits the stellar surface below, the result could be a Hyder flare--a type of explosion that does not require a sunspot.

NOAA forecasters estimate an increasing 25% chance of M-flares and a small but non-negligible 5% chance of X-flares on July 30th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 Jul. 30, 2014, the network reported 31 fireballs.
(17 sporadics, 7 Perseids, 5 Southern delta Aquariids, 2 alpha Capricornids)

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 July 30, 2014 there were 1496 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 OP2
Jul 24
0.5 LD
7 m
2014 OM207
Jul 25
0.7 LD
7 m
2014 OW3
Jul 29
9.6 LD
137 m
2002 JN97
Aug 2
61.4 LD
2.0 km
2001 RZ11
Aug 17
34.2 LD
2.2 km
2013 WT67
Aug 17
16.1 LD
1.1 km
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
1.0 km
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 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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