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Solar wind
speed: 401.7 km/sec
density: 8.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0538 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
0413 UT Apr01
24-hr: B5
0413 UT Apr01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 0500 UT
Daily Sun: 31 Mar 15
The magnetic field of sunspot AR2305 has simplified, and no longer poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 53
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Mar 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 31 Mar 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 134 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Mar 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 10.2 nT
Bz: 4.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0538 UT
Coronal Holes: 31 Mar 15

A stream of solar wind flowing from this equtorial coronal hole should reach Earth on April 2-3. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for NLCs has come to an end. The last clouds were observed by NASA's AIM spacecraft on Feb. 20, 2015. Now attention shifts to the northern hemisphere, where the first clouds of 2015 should appear in mid-May.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-28-2015 02:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Mar 31 2230 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
25 %
CLASS X
05 %
05 %
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 Mar 31 2230 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
20 %
SEVERE
35 %
10 %
 
Wednesday, Apr. 1, 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.

 
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TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON: On Saturday morning, April 4th, sky watchers in the USA can see a brief but beautiful total eclipse of the Moon. The event will also be visible from Mexico, western Canada, across the entire Pacific Ocean, Australia, Indonesia, and elsewhere. View an animated eclipse map from ShadowAndSubstance.com.

SOLAR WIND STREAMS--HITS AND MISSES: A solar wind stream expected to hit Earth on March 29-30 has apparently missed. It likely sailed south of our planet. The good news for sky watchers is, another one is on the way. It is flowing from this gaping coronal hole on the sun:


Image credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory

Coronal holes are places in the sun's atmosphere where the magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. In the extreme UV image, above, curved lines trace the sun's magnetic field; arrows indicate the flow of gaseous material (solar wind) out of the deep-purple coronal hole.

Because this coronal hole crosses the sun's equator, the solar wind it spews is likely to hit Earth squarely--no misses, this time. ETA: April 2nd or 3rd. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

STRESS-TESTING HALOBACTERIA: Astrobiologsts have long wondered if halobacteria, a terrestrial extremophile with a special talent for shielding itself from UV radiation, could survive on the planet Mars. To find the answer, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been flying halobacteria onboard balloons to the top of Earth's atmosphere. On March 24, 2015, this test tube full of microbes traveled to an altitude of 110,000 feet:

During the flight, onboard sensors registered temperatures as low as -60 C, air pressures of 1% sea level, and cosmic radiation levels 40 times Earth-normal. Those are conditions akin to the planet Mars. Two and a half hours after they were launched, the bacteria landed in the Death Valley National Park. This means they experienced a 100 C swing in temperature, a 100-fold change in air pressure, and a 40-fold surge of radiation. A recovery team collected the microbes from the park's Nelson Range on March 25th.

The students have already shown that halobacteria can survive trips like this. But can they survive multiple trips? This same test-tube of microbes will fly again on April 1st, and a third time on April 7th--an unprecedented stress-test for this species. Stay tuned for results.

Hey thanks! The students of Earth to Sky Calculus wish to thank Fokke Fernhout for sponsoring the March 24th flight. His donation of $500 paid for the helium and other supplies necessary to get the balloon off the ground. In exchange, the students flew a Fernhout family photo to the edge of space:

Readers, if you would like to help send halobacteria back to the edge of space for additional stress-testing, sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Dr. Tony Phillips for details.


Realtime Eclipse 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 Mar. 31, 2015, the network reported 8 fireballs.
(8 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 April 1, 2015 there were 1569 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2014 YB35
Mar 27
11.6 LD
715 m
2015 FH37
Mar 27
8.9 LD
46 m
2015 FM118
Mar 28
0.9 LD
8 m
2015 FP
Mar 28
9.6 LD
40 m
2015 FF36
Mar 28
3.5 LD
22 m
2015 FT117
Mar 28
2.8 LD
9 m
2015 FA285
Mar 31
6.4 LD
22 m
2015 FW117
Apr 1
3.6 LD
122 m
2015 FW284
Apr 1
11.5 LD
49 m
2015 CW13
Apr 3
13.5 LD
108 m
2015 FK120
Apr 5
5.8 LD
16 m
2015 FN33
Apr 6
9.8 LD
25 m
2063 Bacchus
Apr 7
76 LD
1.6 km
2005 KA
Apr 12
13 LD
50 m
5381 Sekhmet
May 17
62.8 LD
2.1 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
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
 
 

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