Solar wind
speed: 466.8 km/sec
density: 5.3 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1024 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
0734 UT Jun27
24-hr: B1
0734 UT Jun27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1000 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Jun 17
Sunspot AR2664 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 19
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 Jun 2017

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2017 total: 42 days (24%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
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 27 Jun 2017


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 74 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 27 Jun 2017

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.1 nT
Bz: -0.6 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1024 UT
Coronal Holes: 27 Jun 17

There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun today. Credit: NASA/SDO.
Noctilucent Clouds NASA's AIM spacecraft, which monitors NLCs from space, recent moved into a new orbit around Earth. Daily data are currently unavailable while the spacecraft's pointing settles. Polar images should resume in early June. Stay tuned!
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-24-2017 17:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2017 Jun 26 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: 2017 Jun 26 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2017
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over lapland is excited to announce that Autumn Aurora Adventures are available for immediate booking! Reserve your adventure of a lifetime in Abisko National Park, Sweden today!

 

FIRST QUIET, THEN UNREST: Geomagnetic activity is expected to be low for the next two days (June 27th-28th) as Earth exits a stream of solar wind. On the third day (June 29th), our planet's magnetic field could become unsettled again when a new stream of solar wind arrives. Deep-sky auroras (visible to cameras but not the naked eye) are possible later this week. Free: Aurora Alerts

NEW ATMOSPHERIC RADIATION RESULTS: For the past two+ years, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been monitoring cosmic rays in the atmosphere above California using high-altitude space weather balloons. After more than 100 flights, they find that dose rates have increased over the Golden State by 13% since March 2015.

Now we know the same thing is happening over New England--only more so.

The Earth to Sky team has flown balloons over Maine and New Hampshire four times since 2015, most recently on June 15, 2017. Although the data are relatively sparse compared to the better-sampled west coast, the results are clear. Radiation in the stratosphere over the northeastern corner of the USA is not only stronger than California, but also intensifying much faster--a 19% increase in New England vs. 13% in California.

What's happening? Generally speaking, cosmic rays are increasing throughout the entire solar system. This is because of the sunspot cycle. The sun is currently plunging toward a deep Solar Minimum. As it descends, the sun's weakening magnetic field and flagging solar wind provides less and less shielding against high-energy particles from deep space. Every planet in the Solar System is getting an extra dose.

The difference we see between California and New England is telling us something local about Earth. After the sun's magnetosphere deflects many cosmic rays, Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere provide another line of defense. Our data show that central California is better defended by geomagnetism than New England.

Cosmic rays penetrate commercial airlines, dosing passengers and flight crews enough that pilots are classified as occupational radiation workers. Some research shows that cosmic rays can seed clouds and trigger lightning, potentially altering weather and climate. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias in the general population.

SIERRA SNOWPACK AS SEEN FROM THE STRATOSPHERE: A space weather balloon launched by Earth to Sky Calculus on June 23rd has captured remarkable spherical images of California's historic snowpack from the stratosphere. They show Sierra Nevada mountains laden with widespread snow despite an early summer heat wave that has sent temperatures shooting above 110 F at the base of the range. Click on the image to explore an interactive 360-degree scene:

This is the same camera we will use to photograph the Moon's shadow from the stratosphere during the Great American Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21. 2017. Stay tuned for more information about our Solar Eclipse Balloon Network in the days ahead.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All proceeds support hands-on STEM education

AURORA SURPRISE: A minor solar wind stream brushed against Earth's magnetic field on June 25th. Forecasters didn't expect much--but we were wrong. A beautiful display of auroras appeared near Bassano, Alberta:

"It was a bit of a surprise," says photographer Alan Dyer. "I positioned myself at the south shore of this prairie lake to shoot what I hoped was going to be a good display of noctilucent clouds over the water. I got a nice aurora instead!"

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud 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 Jun. 26, 2017, the network reported 24 fireballs.
(24 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 June 27, 2017 there were 1803 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
441987
2017-Jun-24
7.9 LD
12.7
178
2017 MA3
2017-Jun-27
3.2 LD
9.3
16
2017 MB3
2017-Jun-30
5 LD
6.4
34
2017 MC1
2017-Jun-30
2.5 LD
11.6
44
2017 MC3
2017-Jul-02
6.5 LD
13.2
54
2017 BS5
2017-Jul-23
3.1 LD
5.8
54
2014 OA339
2017-Aug-13
12.3 LD
10
47
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

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 13% 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.

  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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NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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