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Solar wind
speed: 334.7 km/sec
density: 8.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0640 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C8
0251 UT Aug28
24-hr: C8
0251 UT Aug28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 0600 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Aug 15
Sunspot AR2403 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. So far, however, this large sunspot has not lived up to its potential for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 46
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Aug 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 28 Aug 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 110 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Aug 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 12.1 nT
Bz: 8.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0639 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Aug 15

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 28-29. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is underway--but not for much longer. According to NASA's AIM spacecraft, noctilucent clouds are waning as August comes to a close.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 08-23-2015 16:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Aug 27 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
60 %
55 %
CLASS X
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: 2015 Aug 27 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
30 %
MINOR
25 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
30 %
SEVERE
60 %
40 %
 
Friday, Aug. 28, 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, winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award 2015.

 
Lapland tours

FISHY FULL MOON: According to folklore, this weekend's full Moon is the Sturgeon Moon, named by Native American tribes of the Great Lakes who caught lots of sturgeon during the month of August. A Moon named after an ancient slimy fish? Go outside and take a look. It's prettier than it sounds. [photo gallery]

GEOMAGNETIC STORMS CONTINUE: For the second day in a row, geomagnetic storms are surging around the Arctic Circle. The G2-class event has sparked some very bright auroras, visible even in the fading twilight of the Arctic summer sun. In Tromsø, Norway, "you could see the auroras at 10pm before it was dark," reports photographer Ole Salomonsen. "Around midnight when it was darker, I witnessed an explosion of geomagnetic lights in the sky." That is when he took this picture:

"A large yellowish moon provided some nice light in the horizon to complete the scene," he says. "What a great start to the season."

The ongoing storm appears set to continue for a third day. This is happening because our planet has entered a broad region of space where the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) points south. South-pointing magnetic fields in space partially cancel Earth's north-pointing magnetic field. The result is a crack in Earth's magnetosphere where solar wind can enter. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of continued storms on Aug. 28th. Aurora alerts: text or voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SPACE YEAST SURVIVE AND MUTATE: Yeast and people have a lot in common. About 1/3rd of our DNA is the same. Indeed, the DNA of yeast is so similar to that of humans, yeast can actually live with human genes spliced into their genetic code. This is why Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been flying yeast to the edge of space. Understanding how the microbes respond to cosmic rays could tell us how human cells respond as well. Here are three strains of yeast (one per test tube) flying 113,936 feet above Earth's surface on August 15th:

The student in the picture is Joey, a high school senior, hitching a ride to the stratosphere along with the yeast. Joey and other members of the student research team are busy measuring growth curves and mutation rates for the space-traveling yeast.

One result is already clear: Yeast are incredibly tough. En route to the stratosphere they were frozen solid at temperatures as low as -63C, and they experienced dose rates of ionizing radiation 100x Earth normal. Survival rates in some of the returning samples were close to 100%.

Photo-micrographs show that yeast mutates in the stratosphere. This image, for instance, shows a colony of white mutants alongside the normal red colonies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (HA2):

In addition to the white mutation shown above, the students have also observed petite mutants, which are a sign of changes in the cells' mitochondrial genome. These changes are of interest to space biologists because the DNA repair mechanisms of yeast are remarkably similar to those of human beings. In particular, proteins encoded by yeast RAD genes are closely related to proteins used by human cells to undo radiation damage.

Another flight of the yeast is scheduled for this Wednesday, Aug. 26th. What mutants will emerge this time? Stay tuned!

HEY THANKS: The students wish to say thanks to Dan Salkovitz, who sponsored the August 15th balloon flight. In exchange for his generous donation of $500, they flew Dan himself to the edge of space:

Readers, if you would like to sponsor an upcoming student research flight, and see your favorite picture flown to the stratosphere, please contact Dr. Tony Phillips to make arrangements.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery


Realtime Venus 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 Spaceweather.com.

On Aug. 27, 2015, the network reported 18 fireballs.
(18 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 August 28, 2015 there were 1607 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 QS8
Aug 22
5 LD
19 m
2015 QT3
Aug 28
4.2 LD
71 m
2015 PT227
Aug 29
9.7 LD
69 m
2004 BO41
Aug 31
57.3 LD
1.2 km
1991 CS
Sep 4
62.1 LD
1.4 km
2014 KS76
Sep 14
8.7 LD
22 m
2004 TR12
Sep 15
58.8 LD
1.0 km
2000 FL10
Oct 10
65.7 LD
1.9 km
2011 QD48
Oct 17
67.5 LD
1.0 km
2014 UR
Oct 18
3.8 LD
21 m
2011 SE97
Oct 18
12 LD
50 m
2001 UY4
Oct 21
58.2 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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Columbia Northern High School
  Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
  more links...
 
 

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