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Solar wind
speed: 306.4 km/sec
density: 4.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0123 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2051 UT Jul03
24-hr: M1
1251 UT Jul03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2359 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Jul 15
Sunspot AR2378 is increasingly active, producing an M-class solar flare on July 3rd. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 73
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Jul 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 03 Jul 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 114 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Jul 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= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.5 nT
Bz: 1.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 0127 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Jul 15

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on July 5-7. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for NLCs is underway. NASA's AIM spacecraft spotted the first noctilucent clouds over the Arctic Circle on May 19th.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 07-03-2015 16:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jul 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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 Jul 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
35 %
05 %
25 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
30 %
25 %
30 %
55 %
Saturday, Jul. 4, 2015
What's up in space

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CO-ROTATING INTERACTION REGION: NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on July 5th when a co-rotating interaction region (CIR) is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. CIRs are transition zones between fast- and slow-moving solar wind streams. Solar wind plasma piles up in these regions, producing density gradients and shock waves that do a good job of sparking auroras. Aurora alerts: text or voice.

3RD OF JULY FIREWORKS: Sunspot AR2378 in the sun's southern hemisphere is increasingly active. On July 3rd at 12:51 UT it unleashed an impulsive M1.5-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash:

UV radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere, causing a mild radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean. Mariners and ham radio operators might have noticed the disturbance at frequencies below ~10 MHz. The explosion did not produce an Earth-directed CME.

4th of July fireworks could be in the offing if AR2378 continues to crackle with flares. Stay tuned. Solar flare alerts: text or voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

PING-PONG MOON TRICK: The Moon is nearly full tonight, which means it's the perfect time for a bit of trickery. All you need is a small telescope and a ping-pong ball to create a 3-dimensional Moon small enough to hold between your fingertips. Tom Harradine of Brisbane, Australia, shows how it is done:

"I pointed my telescope at the Moon and held the ping pong ball in front of the eyepiece," explains Harradine. An image of the Moon iluminated the translucent ball. "By adjusting the focus of the telescope and the distance between the ball and the eyepiece, I was able to create a little 3D Moon."

"This works best for the full or nearly-full Moon," he adds.

Good news for tricksters: There are two full Moons this month. The first comes on July 1-2, the second on July 31st. According to modern folklore, the second full Moon is a calendar month is a Blue Moon. So gather your ping pong balls now for a little Blue Moon at the end of July.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

THE SUNSET PLANET SHOW CONTINUES: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west. Venus and Jupiter are beautifully close together in the sunset sky. Shahrin Ahmad sends this picture from Sri Damansara, Malaysia, which he took on the evening of July 2nd:

"The upper insets show how Venus and Jupiter are only a little farther apart than the diameter of a full Moon (0.5o)," says Ahmad. "The lower insets show what you will see if you point a telescope at these bright planets: the fat crescent shape of Venus and the moons of Jupiter."

The two planets were at their closest (0.3o) on June 30th, and they are separating now. The breakup of the conjunction is, however, proceeding slowly, so they will remain beautifully close together for many nights to come. Check it out. It is a nice way to end the day.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

Realtime Sprite 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

On Jul. 3, 2015, the network reported 55 fireballs.
(55 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 July 4, 2015 there were 1594 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2015 MO116
Jul 7
4.9 LD
68 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.1 LD
81 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.3 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
540 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
2005 JF21
Aug 16
20.1 LD
1.6 km
2004 BO41
Aug 31
57.3 LD
1.2 km
1991 CS
Sep 4
62.1 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Columbia Northern High School
  Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
  more links...


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