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Solar wind
speed: 395.9 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1701 UT Dec30
24-hr: C2
1643 UT Dec30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Dec 13
Sunspots AR1934 and AR1936 have complex magnetic fields that harbor energy for M- and X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 119
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Dec 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

30 Dec 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 137 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Dec 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.5 nT
Bz: 2.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Dec 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Jan 2-3. 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: 12-30-2013 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Dec 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
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: 2013 Dec 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
15 %
25 %
05 %
15 %
Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
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

SUBSIDING PROTONS, MORE TO COME? Energetic protons are swarming past Earth in the aftermath of a magnetic explosion on the sun's western limb on Dec. 28th: movie. At its peak, the radiation storm registered "S1" on NOAA storm scales, which is to say it was a minor event with minimal effects on Earth-orbiting satellites and aviation. The storm is subsiding now. Stronger radiation storms are possible in the days ahead, however, as potent sunspot AR1934 rotates toward the western limb--a place with a strong magnetic connection to Earth. Flares from AR1934 could send more protons in our direction. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

MUST-SEE SUNSET PHENOMENON: Now is a great time to look at the second planet from the sun. Like the Moon, Venus has phases, and at the moment it is a 5% crescent. Moreover, it is bright enough to see in broad daylight. On Saturday, Mark Wloch pointed his Celestron C8 telescope at the blue sky over Southgate, Michigan, and this is what he saw:

"I captured Venus during daylight with a jet passing by," says Wloch. "What a beautiful conjunction."

Yes, it is easy to see Venus in broad daylight, but it is even easier to see the planet at sunset when Venus pierces the darkening sky like a beacon 150 times brighter than a 1st-magnitude star. Indeed, some sky watchers think Venus is an airplane. A quick look through a pair of binoculars, however, reveals the crescent. Point your optics southwest after sunset. No sky map is required; you can't miss Venus.

Realtime Venus Photo Gallery

COMING SOON--THE FIRST AURORAS OF 2014: Magnetic fields in the sun's northern hemisphere have opened up, creating a vast hole in the sun's atmosphere--a coronal hole. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is monitoring the UV-dark gap:

Coronal holes are places where magnetic fields threading through the sun's atmosphere spread apart and allow solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this particular coronal hole could reach Earth on Jan. 2-3, possibly sparking polar geomagnetic storms. The first auroras of 2014 are in the offing. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.


Realtime Space Weather 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 Dec. 27, 2013, the network reported 16 fireballs.
(13 sporadics, 2 December Leonis Minorids, 1 December Hydrid)

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 Dec. 26, 2013, the network reported 24 fireballs.
(21 sporadics, 3 December Leonis Minorids)

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 December 30, 2013 there were 1448 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2011 YD29
Dec 28
6.1 LD
24 m
2013 YL2
Jan 3
3.6 LD
102 m
2007 SJ
Jan 21
18.9 LD
1.9 km
2012 BX34
Jan 28
9.6 LD
13 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
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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