Solar wind
speed: 495.5 km/sec
density: 4.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1702 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1600 UT Jun26
24-hr: B2
0135 UT Jun26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1600 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jun 16
The sun is blank--no sunspots. This means solar activity is very low. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Jun 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 3 days
2016 total: 7 days (4%)
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 26 Jun 2016


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 77 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Jun 2016

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.9 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1702 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Jun 16
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds Images from NASA's AIM spacecraft are once again appearing on Spaceweather.com. Check back daily for space-based sightings of noctilucent clouds.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 06-26-2016 16:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2016 Jun 25 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 Jun 25 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
10 %
SEVERE
10 %
05 %
 
Sunday, Jun. 26, 2016
What's up in space
       
 

It's waiting for you: The most successful Aurora Photo Tour on Earth! 100% success rate 4 years in a row and winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Join LapplandMedia's aurora tours in Abisko, Swedish Lapland!

 

THE SUN IS STILL BLANK: For the fourth day in a row, the face of the sun is blank--no sunspots. As a result, solar activity is low. NOAA forecasters say the chance of a strong solar flare today is no more than 1%.

SCORPION WITH A MAGNETIC TAIL: As the face of the sun grows quiet, attention is turning to the edge of the sun. "The spotless sun put out a large, fast moving prominence today... a loop that rose and disappeared quickly," reports astrophotographer Alan Friedman of Buffalo, New York. "Frozen in time it looks a bit like a scorpion, no?"

Prominences are filaments of magnetism filled with glowing-hot plasma. They attract attention when they grow large and hang out over the edge of the solar disk. The magnetic tail of this scorpion is more than 150,000 km long!

Even when sunspots vanish, magnetic filaments are known to criss-cross the solar disk. Sometimes they collapse and hit the stellar surface, igniting explosions called Hyder Flares. Readers should expect to see more of these structures as sunspots fade away. Solar Minimum is not boring ... only different. Stay tuned for "quiet."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

WHEN IS A RAINBOW NOT A RAINBOW? At this time of year, a colorful arc often appears in the noontime sky. It looks like a rainbow, but it's not. "I saw one on June 23rd while I was walking through forest near Flagstaff, Arizona," reports David Blanchard, who took this picture through the treetops:

Blanchard witnessed a circumhorizon arc--a rainbow-colored band of light caused by the sun shining through plate-shaped ice crystals floating in cirrus clouds. Actual rainbows, on the other hand, are caused by sunlight reflected from raindrops.

Summer is the season for circumhorizontal arcs because they appear only when the sun is high in the sky--more than 58o above the horizon. The arc's enormous size and pure spectral colors make it one of the most beautiful of all ice halos.

At medium latitudes, like much of the USA, the arc is not rare.Typically, it can be seen several times each summer. In contrast, further north in much of Europe the circumhorizon arc is a rarity and impossible to see north of Copenhagen. See the charts in Les Cowley's web page 'How rare?' for the visibility at your location.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS CONTINUE TO BRIGHTEN: Monitoring the Arctic from Earth orbit, NASA's AIM spacecraft shows a brightening ring of noctilucent clouds around the north pole--a ring whose ragged edge is spreading south.  Last night, around midnight in Europe, the electric-blue ripples appeared over Plavinas, Latvia:

"It was a beautiful midsummer display," says photographer Guntis Grandans.

When will these clouds appear over the United States?  The latitude of Plavina is +56.6 degrees.  For comparison, the latitude of, say, Seattle is +47.6 degrees.  That means the clouds will have to spread south at least another 10 degrees before they attract widespread attention in the continental USA. Our guess would be the first weeks of July, although earlier surprises are possible.

Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery


Realtime Sprite 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 Spaceweather.com.

On Jun. 26, 2016, the network reported 45 fireballs.
(43 sporadics, 1 Microscorpiid, 1 Northern June Aquilid)

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 26, 2016 there were 1707 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2010 NY65
Jun 24
10.7 LD
215 m
2002 KL6
Jul 22
26.6 LD
1.4 km
2011 BX18
Jul 25
52.7 LD
1.1 km
2005 OH3
Aug 3
5.8 LD
28 m
2000 DP107
Aug 12
66.5 LD
1.0 km
2004 BO41
Sep 7
38.9 LD
1.1 km
2015 KE
Sep 10
14.9 LD
23 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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere
Situation Report -- Oct. 30, 2015 Stratospheric Radiation (+37o N)
Cosmic ray levels are elevated (+6.1% above the Space Age median). The trend is flat. Cosmic ray levels have increased +0% in the past month.
Sept. 06: 4.14 uSv/hr (414 uRad/hr)
Sept. 12: 4.09 uSv/hr (409 uRad/hr)
Sept. 23: 4.12 uSv/hr (412 uRad/hr)
Sept. 25: 4.16 uSv/hr (416 uRad/hr)
Sept. 27: 4.13 uSv/hr (413 uRad/hr)
Oct. 11: 4.02 uSv/hr (402 uRad/hr)
Oct. 22: 4.11 uSv/hr (411 uRad/hr)
These measurements are based on regular space weather balloon flights: learn more.

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. Our measurements show that someone flying back and forth across the continental USA, just once, can absorb as much ionizing radiation as 2 to 5 dental X-rays. For example, here is the data from a flight on Oct. 22, 2015:

Radiation levels peak at the entrance to the stratosphere in a broad region called the "Pfotzer Maximum." This peak is named after physicist George Pfotzer who discovered it using balloons and Geiger tubes in the 1930s. Radiation levels there are more than 80x sea level.

Note that the bottom of the Pfotzer Maximim is near 55,000 ft. This means that some high-flying aircraft are not far from the zone of maximum radiation. Indeed, according to the Oct 22th measurements, a plane flying at 45,000 feet is exposed to 2.79 uSv/hr. At that rate, a passenger would absorb about one dental X-ray's worth of radiation in about 5 hours.

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.

  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
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