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Solar wind
speed: 375.5 km/sec
density: 3.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1437 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1249 UT Oct02
24-hr: C3
1249 UT Oct02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1400 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Oct 14
Sunspots AR2172, AR2173, AR2175, AR2177 and AR2178 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that pose a threat for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 164
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Oct 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%)

Update 02 Oct

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 155 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Oct 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: 5.7 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1437 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Oct 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: 09-02-2014 12:55:12
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Oct 01 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
45 %
35 %
05 %
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 Oct 01 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
25 %
25 %
Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
What's up in space

On October 8th there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. Got clouds? No problem. The event will be broadcast live on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center.

Lunar Eclipse Live

NASA SPACECRAFT DETECTS SUPER X-FLARE: If you thought an X1-class solar flare was bad, how about an X100,000? NASA's Swift spacecraft has detected such a explosion. Fortunately for life on Earth, it did not come from the sun. The source of the super-flare was another star almost 60 light-years away: full story.

DEPARTING SUNSPOTS: The chance of Earth-directed flares is decreasing as a phalanx of sunspots rotates off the visible disk of the sun. This morning in Romania, Maximilian Teodorescu photographed some of the departing active regions:

"This is the AR2172-AR2173 complex," he says. "Soon they will be on the farside of the sun."

There is a brief hazard to consider as these sunspots depart: If any of them erupt as they go around the sun's western limb, they could spark a radiation storm near our planet. The reason is, the western limb of the sun is well-connected to Earth. Solar magnetic fields springing out of that region spiral back to our planet. If a sunspot passing through the area explodes, those spiralling magnetic fields can funnel energetic particles in our direction.

That said, the chance of flares is waning. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of M-flares today, down to 20% on Oct. 4th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SPACE WEATHER BUOY RECOVERED: It only looks like a lunchbox. Pictured below is a Space Weather Buoy--an insulated capsule containing a cosmic ray detector, video cameras, GPS trackers, and other sensors. On Sept. 28th, it flew 115,000 feet above Earth's surface to check radiation levels in the stratosphere. This picture was taken at the apex of the flight:

In collaboration with, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been launching these buoys on a regular basis to study the effect of solar activity on Earth's upper atmosphere. Their latest flight has a sharply defined purpose: to find out if stratospheric radiation is rebounding from a "Forbush Decrease" earlier this month.

The story begins on Sept. 12th when a CME hit Earth head-on, sparking the strongest geomagnetic storm of the year. The students launched a Space Weather Buoy into the storm, expecting to measure an increase in energetic particles. Instead of more, however, they measured less. The CME swept away many of the cosmic rays around Earth and, as a result, radiation levels in the stratosphere dropped. This counterintuitive effect is called a "Forbush Decrease" after the 20th century physicist Scott Forbush who first described it.

Now that the CME is long gone, cosmic radiation levels around Earth should be returning to normal. But are they? The answer lies inside the payload, which a team recovered yesterday from a remote landing site in Death Valley National Park. Stay tuned.

Note: The students wish to thank Sander Geophysics for sponsoring this flight. (Note their logo in the upper right corner of the payload.) Their generous contribution of $500 paid for the helium and other supplies necessary to get this research off the ground.

Realtime Space Weather 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 Oct. 1, 2014, the network reported 32 fireballs.
(32 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 October 2, 2014 there were 1505 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 SS261
Sep 28
6.4 LD
23 m
2014 SS260
Sep 28
2.8 LD
21 m
2014 SS143
Sep 29
3.6 LD
18 m
2014 SH224
Sep 29
2.3 LD
26 m
2014 SZ144
Sep 29
3.9 LD
38 m
2014 NE52
Sep 30
61.2 LD
1.1 km
2014 SX261
Oct 3
8.9 LD
145 m
2014 SF304
Oct 5
1.9 LD
14 m
2014 SB145
Oct 6
4.4 LD
23 m
2001 EA16
Oct 7
35.5 LD
1.9 km
2011 TB4
Oct 9
5.8 LD
34 m
2010 FV9
Oct 11
8.7 LD
36 m
2003 UC20
Oct 31
52.4 LD
1.0 km
2004 JN13
Nov 18
52.4 LD
4.1 km
1998 SS49
Nov 18
73.9 LD
3.2 km
2005 UH3
Nov 22
44.4 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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