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Solar wind
speed: 387.9 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C7
1749 UT Jul02
24-hr: C7
1749 UT Jul02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 July 13
All of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun are quiet. New sunspot AR1785 is relatively large, however, so it could pose a threat for flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 102
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Jul 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

02 Jul 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Jul 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.0 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Jul 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on July 6-7. Credit: SDO/AIA. is now posting 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: 07-02-2013 12:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Jul 02 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: 2013 Jul 02 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
25 %
10 %
20 %
Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

ROCKET CRASH CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Yesterday, a Russian Proton-M rocket carrying three GLONASS navigation satellites crashed soon after takeoff from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome. Cameras near the launch site caught the mishap from beginning to end. Play the movie.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS INTENSIFY: The "noctilucent daisy" continues to expand and intensify as summer unfolds. Observers in central-to-northern Europe are reporting vivid, nightly displays of NLCs. Just hours ago, Alan Tough photographed these over Lossiemouth, Moray, Scotland:

"This was another spectacular display of noctilucent clouds," says Tough. "I arrived in Lossiemouth in time to see the Moon rising and managed to capture its glitter path on the River Lossie."

2013 is shaping up to be a good year for NLCs. The clouds surprised researchers by appearing early this year, and many bright displays have already been recorded. Once confined to the Arctic, NLCs have been sighted in recent years as far south as Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. They might spread even farther south in 2013.

Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you've probably spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON RECOVERY UPDATE: The western US is experiencing a record-setting heat wave with temperatures reaching 128 F and higher. How far up does the hot air go? To find out, a group of high school students in Bishop, CA, launched a research balloon to the edge of space on June 30th.

Update: The payload has since parachuted back to Earth in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Crowley Lake. A recovery team attempted to retrieve the payload yesterday, but their attempt was thwarted by sunset. There was not enough light to complete the ascent to the balloon's craggy landing site:

Another attempt is planned today, July 2nd. Starting the hike earlier will increase the team's exposure to heat, but also provide more light for payload hunting.

The payload contained two HD cameras, a pair of GPS trackers, a GPS altimeter, a cryogenic thermometer and an ozone sensor. The goal of this curiosity-driven experiment is to discover whether hot air near Earth's surface is able to "mix through" the tropopause to warm the stratosphere above. The group has been flying research balloons for nearly three years, so they have plenty of thermal data from previous flights to compare and contrast the effects of the extreme heat wave.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

WEEKEND GEOMAGNETIC STORM: On June 28, Earth passed through a region of south-pointing magnetism in the solar wind. The encounter set off one of the finest geomagnetic storms of the current solar cycle. At its peak on June 29th, the strong (Kp=7) storm filled the sky over Alberta Canasa with bright green auroras:

"With advance warning from, I headed out Friday night to a wind farm near my rural home, to take images of what I hoped would be an all-sky aurora. It did not disappoint!" says photographer Alan Dyer of Drumheller, Alberta. "These images are taken from the base of one of the massive wind machines, seemingly aimed into the aurora blown by the solar wind."

For a brief time, the auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the USA as south as Iowa, Oregon, Nebraska, and Kansas. In total, observers in more than a dozen US states reported visual or photographic sightings of auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  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 2, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 PJ9
Jul 17
29.2 LD
1.1 km
2006 BL8
Jul 26
9.3 LD
48 m
2003 DZ15
Jul 29
7.6 LD
153 m
2005 WK4
Aug 9
8.1 LD
420 m
1999 CF9
Aug 23
24.7 LD
1.1 km
2002 JR9
Aug 31
63.5 LD
1.4 km
1992 SL
Sep 23
70 LD
1.1 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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