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Solar wind
speed: 352.4 km/sec
density: 3.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1410 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1213 UT Jan25
24-hr: C1
1213 UT Jan25
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1400 UT
Daily Sun: 25 Jan 15
Sunspot AR2268 poses a slight threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 57
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jan 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%)

Update 25 Jan 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 125 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jan 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.4 nT
Bz: 5.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1410 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 Jan 15
A Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole is expected to reach Earth on Jan. 25-26. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds As of Nov. 22, 2014, the season for southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds is underway. The south polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 01-24-2015 18:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jan 24 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
40 %
40 %
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 Jan 24 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
40 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
25 %
30 %
SEVERE
60 %
60 %
 
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015
What's up in space
 

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CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Jan. 25-26. That's when a solar wind stream flowing from a southern hole in the sun's atmosphere is expected to reach Earth. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras later this weekend. Aurora alerts: text, voice

RARE SHADOWS ON JUPITER: Anyone who looks at Jupiter through a telescope is almost guaranteed to see the Galilean satellites (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) circling the giant planet. On rare occasions, observers catch one of those moons casting its shadow on Jupiter's cloudtops. On Jan 24th, observers in North America and the Carribean saw not one, but three shadows. Efrain Morales Rivera sends this picture from Aquadilla, Puerto Rico:

"I was happy to be able to observe this rare event," says Rivera. A full-sized version of his image matches each shadow to a moon. One belongs to Io, one to Europa, and one to Callisto. If you think you count four shadows, that's because the solid body of Callisto is passing in front of Jupiter and its dark silhouette looks like a shadow, too.

The reason for this "triple shadow transit" has to do with Jupiter's seasons. Jupiter is about to have an equinox--that is, the sun is about to cross Jupiter's equatorial plane. This edge-on alignment with the sun encourages Jupiter's moons to cast their shadows on the planet below. For the record, Jupiter's equinox is on Feb. 5th. Observers of the giant planet should remain alert for shadows.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

COMET TAIL: Receding Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) has faded a bit from its peak brightness earlier this month, but it is still a spectacular comet. Trace the tormented streamers of gas flowing from the comet's icy nucleus in this deep-sky exposure from astrophotographer Gerald Rhemann of Puchenstuben, Austria:

Actually, that was only half of Lovejoy's tail. Click here to see the rest.

The many kinks, eddies and whorls propagating down the tail are caused by an unknown combination of (1) variable activity in the comet's nucleus and (2) gusts of solar wind buffeting the streamers of emerging gas. Every time astronomers photograph the structure, it looks different. Indeed, this is one of the most dynamic comets in years.

Shining like a star of magnitude 4.4, Comet Lovejoy is a difficult target for the naked eye, but as Rhemann's photo shows, it is a wonderful subject for deep-sky photography. The comet is currently passing through the constellation Aries high in the evening sky. The Minor Planet Center has published an ephemeris for accurate pointing of telescopes.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

BRIGHT ASTEROID FLYBY: A large asteroid is about to fly past Earth. On the night of Jan. 26-27, mountain-sized space rock 2004 BL86 will be only 3 times farther from us than the Moon. There's no danger of a collision, but the flyby will be easy to observe. Sunlight reflected from the surface of 2004 BL86 will make it glow like a 9th magnitude star. Amateur astronomers with even small backyard telescopes will be able to see it zipping among the stars of the constellation Cancer. Check out this video, prepared by the Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe, for detailed observing tips:

NASA radars will be observing, too. As the asteroid passes by, astronomers will use the Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, and the giant Arecibo radar in Puerto Rico to "ping" 2004 BL86, pinpointing the asteroid's location and tracing its shape.

"When we get our radar data back the day after the flyby, we will have the first detailed images," said radar astronomer Lance Benner of JPL, the principal investigator for the Goldstone radar observations of the asteroid.  "At present, we know almost nothing about this asteroid, so there are bound to be surprises."  

At the moment, astronomers think the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in diameter. The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027.  


Realtime Aurora 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 Jan. 24, 2015, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(9 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 January 25, 2015 there were 1542 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 BC
Jan 20
1.6 LD
63 m
2015 BP
Jan 20
1.8 LD
10 m
2015 BK4
Jan 25
5.3 LD
45 m
2015 BF
Jan 25
9.3 LD
22 m
2004 BL86
Jan 26
3.1 LD
680 m
2015 AK45
Jan 26
4.7 LD
23 m
2015 BE92
Jan 29
3.2 LD
11 m
2008 CQ
Jan 31
4.8 LD
36 m
2015 BF92
Feb 7
8.5 LD
65 m
2015 AZ43
Feb 15
7.7 LD
87 m
2000 EE14
Feb 27
72.5 LD
1.6 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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