Solar wind
speed: 652.6 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1326 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
0725 UT Sep29
24-hr: B2
0725 UT Sep29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Sep 16
Sunspot AR2597 has a stable magnetic field that poses little threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 20
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Sep 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2016 total: 20 days (7%)
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 29 Sep 2016


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 84 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Sep 2016

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 5 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.4 nT
Bz: 2.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1325 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Sep 16

Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: NASA/SDO.
Noctilucent Clouds NASA's AIM spacecraft has suffered an anomaly, and a software patch is required to fix it. As a result, current noctilucent cloud images will not return until late September 2016.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 08-06-2016 16:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2016 Sep 28 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
01 %
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: 2016 Sep 28 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
40 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
35 %
35 %
 
Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016
What's up in space
       
 

Directly under the Arctic Circle! Marianne's Arctic Xpress in Tromsø offers fjord, whale and wildlife tours by day, aurora tours by night. Book Now and get a 10% discount on combo day and night adventures.

 

GEOMAGNETIC STORMS CONTINUE: G1-class geomagnetic storms are ringing Earth's poles on Sept. 29th as a high-speed (600+ km/s) stream of solar wind continues to buffet our planet's magnetic field. "We have seen auroras here in Iceland for 5 nights in a row," reports Olivier Staiger, who took this picture of tourists enjoying the lights last night:

"For the past five days I've been guiding a small private aurora chase tour for the president of a local astronomical society," he says. "We hit the jackpot right on the day they arrived."

5 nights in a row?  Make that 6.... More polar auroras are likely tonight as the solar wind continues to blow.  If you live near the Arctic Circle, go outside after nightfall.  Otherwise, monitor the realtime photo gallery for sightings. Free: Aurora Alerts

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

CELEBRATING AN ANNIVERSARY AT THE EDGE OF SPACE: Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus wish to congratulate Tommy Tat-Fung Tse and his wife Annie. Today is their 20th wedding annversary! To surprise Annie, Tommy sponsored a cosmic ray balloon and used it to fly this special anniversary card to the edge of space:

"With Love from Space, Mei Mei," says Tommy. "Atalie, Bethany, Curtis and I love you forever!"

The card was painted by their daughter Bethany, an art major. It flew to an altitude of 34.7 km (113,845 ft), and parachuted back to Earth on Sept. 11, 2016. In addition to this snapshot, and the card itself, Annie is receiving a complete HD video of the flight.

Tommy's anniversary gift to Annie was also a gift to our radiation monitoring program. His sponsorship of the Sept. 11th balloon flight made it possible for us to launch an array of cosmic ray sensors to the stratosphere. Thank you, Tommy!

Readers, if you would like to contribute to a growing body of knowledge about atmospheric radiation and see your own photo or card at the edge of space, please contact Dr. Tony Phillips to sponsor a flight. Sponsorships are currently available for flights scheduled on Oct. 7th, Oct. 18th, and Oct. 27th.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Sprite Photo Gallery



  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

Updated
: Sept. 29 2016 // Next Flight: Oct. 1, 2016

Sept. 20, 2016: Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. Dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 12% since 2015:


Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

  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 Sep. 28, 2016, the network reported 42 fireballs.
(41 sporadics, 1 Southern Taurid)

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 September 29, 2016 there were 1731 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2016 SW3
Sep 26
1 LD
10 m
2016 SX1
Sep 26
2.2 LD
9 m
2016 SG
Sep 27
2.3 LD
21 m
2016 SW1
Sep 28
1.3 LD
9 m
2016 SL2
Sep 29
2.4 LD
35 m
2016 SZ1
Sep 29
6.1 LD
21 m
2009 UG
Sep 30
7.3 LD
101 m
2016 SR2
Oct 7
3.8 LD
22 m
2100 Ra-Shalom
Oct 9
58.3 LD
1.1 km
2014 UR
Oct 18
12 LD
21 m
2005 SE71
Oct 24
72.2 LD
1.0 km
2003 TL4
Oct 27
10.1 LD
565 m
2003 YT1
Oct 31
13.5 LD
850 m
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
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Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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