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Solar wind
speed: 382.0 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1420 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
0900 UT May22
24-hr: B4
0403 UT May22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1400 UT
Daily Sun: 22 May 15
Not one of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 36
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 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 22 May 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 102 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 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: 5.3 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1420 UT
Coronal Holes: 22 May 15

There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the Sun. 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: 05-22-2015 01:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 May 21 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: 2015 May 21 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 %
 
Friday, May. 22, 2015
What's up in space
 

Come to Tromsø and share Marianne's passion for rural photography: Chasethelighttours.co.uk invites you to experience "Heaven on Earth" with an aurora, fjord, fishing, whale watching, photography or sightseeing tour.

 
Chase the Light Tours

QUIET SUN: With no sunspots actively flaring, solar activity is low. According to NOAA, the odds of a significant solar flare (M- or X-class) today are no more than 1%. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

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

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 no more than 5 to 10 days. News flash: The bulb is glowing. Stay tuned for sightings.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SATURN'S RINGS SURGE IN BRIGHTNESS: This Friday night, May 22nd, Saturn will be "at opposition"--that is, opposite the sun in the skies of Earth. The ringed planet rises in the east at sunset and soars through the southern sky at midnight, a golden "star" in the constellation Scorpius. [sky map]

Whenever Saturn is at opposition, its rings surge in brightness. Why? Scroll down for the explanation. On the way, check out these photos taken by amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley on May 19th:

"This is an animation of two Saturn images about 10 minutes apart," says Wesley, who used a 16-inch telescope in Australia. It shows gaps in Saturn's rings, clouds in the planet's atmosphere, and a famous hex-shaped storm around Saturn's north pole.

Getting such Hubblesque results from a backyard telescope requires a combination of good seeing and long years of experience. Wesley is one of the world's top amateur astrophotographers and he routinely produces images like this. Observers with less experience can take good photos, too, especially in the nights ahead as Saturn's rings brighten.

The brightening of Saturn's rings is called the "opposition effect." Saturn's rings are made of frozen chunks ranging in size from dust to houses. Sunlight directly backscattered from those ice particles causes the ring system to shine even more than usual for a few days around opposition. The exact mechanism involves shadow-hiding and possibly coherent backscattering.

If you have a telescope, take a look! Or sign up for a live view of Saturn from Slooh--no telescope required.

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. 19, 2015, the network reported 13 fireballs.
(13 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 22, 2015 there were 1581 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 KG
May 18
14.3 LD
18 m
2015 JF
May 18
9 LD
24 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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