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Solar wind
speed: 342.4 km/sec
density: 6.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1050 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
0801 UT May24
24-hr: B4
0000 UT May24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1000 UT
Daily Sun: 24 May 15
Not one of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is very low. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 69
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 May 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 24 May 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 98 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 24 May 2015

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: 4.2 nT
Bz: 3.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1050 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 May 15

Solar wind flowing from this minor coronal hole should reach Earth on May 28-29. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is about to begin. Readers should monitor the "daily daisies" below for first sightings from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 05-23-2015 15:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 May 23 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2015 May 23 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
 
Sunday, May. 24, 2015
What's up in space
 

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QUIET SUN: The chance of flares is dropping again as the magnetic field of sunspot AR2353 decays. The sun is likely to remain quiet for the rest of the weekend. According to NOAA forecasters, the chance of an X-class flare on May 24th is no more than 1%. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

VOLCANIC GAS CIRCUMNAVIGATES THE GLOBE: Last month, on April 22nd, Chile's Calbuco volcano erupted, blowing plumes of ash and sulfurous gas more than 50,000 feet high. Since then, the swirling plumes have spread around the southern hemisphere--traveling eastward from South America to southern Africa to Australia/New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the plumes completed the circle.

"We are seeing volcanic sunsets again in Rio," reports Brazilian photographer Helio de Carvalho Vital, who took this picture on May 17th:

Back in April, Vital was among the first to notice colorful sunsets in the immediate aftermath of Calbuco. "I spotted the first effects of the volcano on April 24 and monitored the bulk of the plume on April 26, 27 and 28 as it was heading east. Colorful sunsets were visible from Rio for a week after that."

A primary color of volcanic sunsets is purple: Fine volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere scatter blue light which, when mixed with ordinary sunset red, produces a violet hue. Purple isn't the only color, though. Volcanic sunsets can also include a bright yellow twilight arch and long diffuse rays and shadows.

After a 3 week intermission, purple has returned to Brazil. "It is subtle," notes Vital. "A camera is required to fully capture the effect. This suggests that the plumes are now much more tenuous than three weeks ago."

A purple sighting last night in New Zealand further suggests that Calbuco's exhaust is thinly spread around the southern hemisphere. Photographers in southern Africa, Argentina, Chile, southern parts of Brazil, and Australia should remain alert for similar displays.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

NOCTILUCENT CLOUD SEASON BEGINS: NASA's AIM spacecraft has spotted a luminous patch of electric-blue drifting across the Arctic Circle. The sighting marks the beginning of the 2015 season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs). "The first clouds appeared on May 19th--a bit earlier than usual," reports Cora Randall, AIM science team member at the University of Colorado. They are located at longitude +90o in this polar image recorded by AIM's CIPS instrument:


The first northern-hemisphere NLCs of 2015, recorded by AIM/CIPS on May 19th

"It is always good to see the beginning of another season," says James Russell of Hampton University, principal investigator for the AIM mission. "What surprises will it bring? We will see. The clouds have never disappointed us."

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, they float at the edge of space more than 80 km above the planet's surface. The clouds are very cold and filled with tiny ice crystals. When sunbeams hit those crystals, they glow electric-blue.

Noctilucent clouds first appeared in the 19th century after the eruption of super-volcano Krakatoa. At the time, people thought the clouds were caused by the eruption, but long after Krakatoa's ash settled, the clouds remained. In those days, NLCs were a polar phenomenon confined mainly to the Arctic. In recent years they have intensified and spread with sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This could be a sign of increasing greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.

Data from AIM have shown that NLCs are like a great "geophysical light bulb." They turn on every year in late spring, reaching almost full intensity over a period of 5 to 10 days. News flash: The bulb is glowing. Stay tuned for sightings.

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 May. 23, 2015, the network reported 16 fireballs.
(16 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 May 24, 2015 there were 1583 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 KV56
May 20
12 LD
18 m
2015 KY56
May 25
5.7 LD
21 m
2015 HT9
May 25
12.1 LD
28 m
2015 KH
May 29
14.3 LD
53 m
2005 XL80
Jun 4
38.1 LD
1.0 km
2012 XB112
Jun 11
10.1 LD
2 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.1 LD
73 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.4 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
565 m
2013 BQ18
Jul 20
7.9 LD
38 m
1999 JD6
Jul 25
18.8 LD
1.6 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 6
76.5 LD
1.4 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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