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Solar wind
speed: 394.3 km/sec
density: 5.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1956 UT Nov20
24-hr: C7
0641 UT Nov20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 20 Nov 14
A new and possibly large sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 72
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 20 Nov 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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 20 Nov

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 170 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 20 Nov 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.0 nT
Bz: 4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 20 Nov 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 11-20-2014 10:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Nov 20 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
10 %
10 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2014 Nov 20 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
30 %
40 %
30 %
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014
What's up in space

Would you like a call when things are happening in the night sky? Sign up for backyard astronomy alerts from voice or text.


CME IMPACT EXPECTED: A CME so weak that it barely stands out from the ambient solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field today. Mindful that even weak CMEs can be potent, NOAA forecasters put the odds of a polar geomagnetic storm at 40%. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Nov. 20-21. Aurora alerts: text, voice

BEAR CLAW SUNSPOT: Imagine a bear claw with toes the size of Earth. Yesterday, Philippe Tosi of Nîmes, France, looked through the eyepiece of his solar telescope and saw exactly that:

This is old sunspot AR2192, now making its second pass across the face of the sun. "I created this high resolution picture by combining six images," says Tosi. Click to view the full panorama.

Magnetic fields criss-crossing the toes and pad of this Ursidamorphic structure harbor energy for M- and X-class solar flares. However, the sunspot has been quiet for almost three days, so NOAA forecasters are estimating a relatively low 5% chance of X-flares on Nov. 20th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

LEONID FIREBALLS: This week, Earth passed through a stream of debris from Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, source of the annual Leonid meteor shower. Forecasters expected the display to be meagre, in part because it has been 15 years since the comet visited the inner solar system. Contrary to expectations, however, the Leonids of 2014 have produced a pleasing number of fireballs.Bill Cooke, who runs NASA's all-sky network of meteor cameras reports: "We have 67 confirmed Leonids so far, despite a couple of days of bad weather." Cooke has plotted the orbit of each fireball to create this summary:

The blue curves show the orbits of all the Leonid fireballs that disintegrated above the USA in view of network cameras between Nov. 15th and 20th. Those curves are a good match to the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, color-coded purple. "That's how we know they are Leonids," explains Cooke.

Last night alone, the network picked up 15 more fireballs, which means the shower might not yet be finished. Readers who wake up before sunrise, and who are not blanketed by snow clouds, should remain alert for bright meteors. ( And if you do have snow clouds, listen for Leonid echoes on's live meteor radar, which operates even during winter storms.)

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

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

On Nov. 20, 2014, the network reported 44 fireballs.
(26 sporadics, 15 Leonids, 2 Northern Taurids, 1 alpha Monocerotid)

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 November 20, 2014 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 WA
Nov 17
1.9 LD
10 m
2004 JN13
Nov 18
52.4 LD
4.1 km
1998 SS49
Nov 18
73.9 LD
3.1 km
2014 WO4
Nov 20
4 LD
55 m
2005 UH3
Nov 22
44.4 LD
1.3 km
2007 EJ
Jan 12
68.9 LD
1.1 km
1991 VE
Jan 17
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2004 BL86
Jan 26
3.1 LD
650 m
2008 CQ
Jan 31
4.8 LD
36 m
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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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