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Solar wind
speed: 543.8 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2155 UT Oct02
24-hr: C1
2155 UT Oct02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Oct 13
None of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 49
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Oct 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

Update
02 Oct 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 107 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Oct 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 5 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.1 nT
Bz: 1.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Oct 13
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.

Spaceweather.com 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: 09-02-2013 11:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Oct 02 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2013 Oct 02 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
10 %
MINOR
15 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
25 %
SEVERE
50 %
20 %
 
Wednesday, Oct. 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

CME IMPACT, GEOMAGNETIC STORM: As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field during the early hours of October 2nd, sparking a G2-class geomagnetic storm. In North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into more than a dozen northern-tier US states. Jason Brownlee sends this picture from Bend, Oregon:

"It's not too often we get to see Northern Lights in Oregon," says Brownlee. "It made a special appearance last night in the Cascade Mountains. "

The storm has subsided now, but it could flare up again. NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of more polar geomagnetic storms as Earth passes through the wake of the CME on Oct. 2-3. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

THE INSTIGATING CME: The CME that hit Earth's magnetic field today left the sun on Sept. 30th, propelled by an erupting magnetic filament. SOHO photographed the CME at the start of its journey, racing away from the sun at 2 million mph (900 km/s):

The CME was impressive, but the underlying explosion was even more so. One movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the self-destructing filament in the context of the whole sun. Another movie zooms in for a closeup. It catches the filament ripping through the sun's atmosphere and leaving behind a beautiful "canyon of fire."

NOAA forecasters working through the government shutdown estimated an almost-even 45% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the CME arrived. The CME justified those relatively high odds, sparking a G1-class geomagnetic storm around the poles. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

COMET ISON'S FLYBY OF MARS: In two months, Comet ISON will make a spectacular flyby of the sun. First, though, it has to fly by Mars. Today, the comet is passing by the Red Planet only 0.07 AU (10.5 million km) away. This is giving Mars satellites and rovers our first close-up view of the sungrazer: video.

Amateur astronomers on Earth are watching the close encounter from afar. This photo from Malcolm Park of Oak Heights, Ontario, shows the location of the comet relative to Mars just before sunrise on Sept. 29th:

At closest approach on Oct. 1-2, Mars and Comet ISON will be approximately 2o apart. While Mars is visible to the unaided eye (it shines almost as brightly as a first-magnitude star), ISON is not. The comet is still far from the sun and, as it crosses the orbit of Mars, it has not yet warmed enough to reach naked-eye visibility. Reports of the comet's brightness vary from 12th to 14th magnitude, which means a mid-sized backyard telescope is required to see it.

Mars and ISON rise together in the eastern sky a couple of hours before the sun. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. Visually, Mars will be easy to find on the mornings of closest approach, not only because the planet is relatively bright, but also because the crescent Moon will be passing right by it. Sky maps: Oct. 1, 2.

New images of the comet are coming in every day. Browse the gallery for the latest views:

Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery


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

  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 October 2, 2013 there were 1430 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 SK20
Sep 29
2.3 LD
15 m
2013 TD
Sep 29
6.4 LD
21 m
2013 SU24
Oct 5
5.1 LD
54 m
2013 SC21
Oct 7
8.8 LD
45 m
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49.1 LD
3.0 km
2011 JY1
Nov 13
8.2 LD
57 m
2001 AV43
Nov 18
3 LD
52 m
2010 CL19
Nov 25
37.6 LD
1.3 km
2013 NJ
Nov 26
2.5 LD
190 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.
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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