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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 442.6 km/sec
density: 9.7 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A9
2035 UT Apr09
24-hr: B4
0024 UT Apr09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Apr 19
Big sunspot AR2738 is crackling with B-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Apr 2019

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2019 total: 62 days (63%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
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%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 09 Apr 2019


Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 4.26
x1010 W Cold
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data
Updated 09 Apr 2019

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 79 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 Apr 2019

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.7 nT
Bz: -6.4 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
Coronal Holes: 09 Apr 19


Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole could brush Earth's magnetic field on April 10-12. The encounter is not expected to spark full-fledged geomagnetic storms.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds The northern season for noctilicent clouds is little more than a month away. The electric-blue clouds circling the north pole should return in mid- to late May. .
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 03-02-2019 16:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2019 Apr 09 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2019 Apr 09 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
30 %
30 %
SEVERE
25 %
25 %
 
Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2019
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over Lapland has a brand-new website full of exciting adventures in Abisko National Park, Sweden! Take a look at our aurora activities and book your once-in-a-lifetime trip with us today!

 

MINOR GEOMAGNETIC UNREST TODAY: A minor solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field on April 9th, and this is causing geomagnetic unrest just below the level of a G1-class geomagnetic storm. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras mixed with waxing Spring twilight. Aurora alerts: SMS text, email.

AURORAS VS. TWILIGHT: Around the Arctic Circle, aurora season is coming to an end. It's not that auroras are vanishing. Instead, the summer sun is approaching.  "Arctic Summer is on its way," reports Chad Blakley of Lights over Lapland, "but we still have around four hours of darkness every night." On April 9th he photographed green auroras mixing with blue twilight:

"Northern Lights are taking full advantage of every second that the sun is below the horizon," says Blakley. "Last night the show started at around 10:00 PM and ended when the Sun returned at around 2:00 AM. I wonder, how many more nights will we enjoy auroras here in Abisko, Sweden?"

Answer: A few more days, at least. Solar wind flowing from a southern hole in the sun's atmosphere is expected to brush Earth's magnetic field on April 10th and 11th, painting northern twilight with a dash of green in the nights ahead. Aurora alerts: SMS text, email.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

BIG, CRACKLING SUNSPOT: Big sunspot AR2738 is crackling with minor B-class solar flares. Minor? On the sun, it's all relative. A typical B-class solar flare releases as much energy as 100 million WWII atomic bombs. Yesterday, Martin Wise of Trenton, Florida, caught the sunspot in mid-flare:


Only on the sun, which is itself a 1027 ton self-contained nuclear explosion, would such a blast be considered puny.

"Watching sunspot AR2738 and its B-class flares was like watching creation," says Wise, who also made an animation of the blast. "I used a Daystar Quark solar filter to safely take these pictures through my 8-inch Celestron telescope."

More "minor" flares are in the offing as the sunspot turns to face Earth. Stay tuned! Solar flare alerts: SMS text, email.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

A MOTHER'S DAY GIFT FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE: Mother's Day is barely a month away. Nothing says "I love you" like a rose quartz heart from the edge of space. On Jan. 26, 2019, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew this pendant 101,908 feet above the snow-capped Sierras of central California:

You can have it for $119.95. The students are selling the pendants to support their cosmic ray ballooning program. Each one comes with a greeting card showing the rose-colored heart in flight and telling the story of its journey to the edge of space. All sales support Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray measurements and hands-on STEM research.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education


Realtime Space Weather 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 Spaceweather.com.

On Apr. 9, 2019, the network reported 23 fireballs.
(23 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 April 9, 2019 there were 1967 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2019 GK1
2019-Apr-04
19.9 LD
5.6
18
2019 GW1
2019-Apr-04
3.4 LD
7.2
21
2019 GM1
2019-Apr-04
7.9 LD
4.4
12
2019 FW1
2019-Apr-04
16.8 LD
8.3
18
2019 GJ4
2019-Apr-04
2.7 LD
5.9
24
2016 GE1
2019-Apr-05
2.9 LD
10.1
17
2019 GU1
2019-Apr-06
1.6 LD
17.4
12
2019 FV
2019-Apr-06
15 LD
7.7
59
2019 GU5
2019-Apr-06
6.1 LD
4.8
10
2019 GJ3
2019-Apr-06
3.1 LD
5.9
8
2019 FY2
2019-Apr-07
19.5 LD
3.9
12
2019 GT
2019-Apr-07
3.5 LD
15.6
18
2019 GS
2019-Apr-07
1.1 LD
12.7
16
2019 FS2
2019-Apr-08
3.2 LD
6.2
12
2019 GR
2019-Apr-08
11.4 LD
5.7
28
2019 GC
2019-Apr-08
6.2 LD
6.6
17
2019 FU
2019-Apr-09
5.3 LD
14.2
85
2014 UR
2019-Apr-09
13 LD
4.6
17
2014 HD177
2019-Apr-10
6.1 LD
14
102
2016 GW221
2019-Apr-10
10.4 LD
5.3
39
2019 GQ
2019-Apr-10
5.2 LD
8.4
17
2019 GV5
2019-Apr-11
1.7 LD
3.9
5
2019 GE1
2019-Apr-11
3.9 LD
6.5
13
2019 GY5
2019-Apr-11
5.9 LD
27.3
26
2019 FB3
2019-Apr-12
11.9 LD
14.2
42
2019 GC4
2019-Apr-12
5.1 LD
33.5
37
2019 GL4
2019-Apr-12
14.4 LD
13.2
84
2019 GQ1
2019-Apr-12
13.4 LD
12.7
40
2019 GN
2019-Apr-13
1.7 LD
11.9
13
2019 GO4
2019-Apr-13
5 LD
23.6
30
2019 FO1
2019-Apr-13
14.4 LD
9.7
28
2019 FH1
2019-Apr-13
18 LD
3.8
31
2019 GN4
2019-Apr-13
7.3 LD
18.3
39
2012 XO134
2019-Apr-18
14.8 LD
11
56
2019 FN2
2019-Apr-18
4.1 LD
7.8
68
522684
2019-Apr-19
19 LD
11.5
214
2019 GZ3
2019-Apr-20
10.1 LD
14.2
23
2019 GM
2019-Apr-21
19.4 LD
10.4
37
2019 FV2
2019-Apr-22
15.6 LD
2.3
33
2019 GM4
2019-Apr-23
9.1 LD
8.4
76
2019 GF1
2019-Apr-27
4.7 LD
1.9
11
2019 GX5
2019-Apr-28
7.2 LD
10.7
27
2018 KK1
2019-May-05
13.9 LD
13.9
71
2017 RC
2019-May-09
14.5 LD
10.6
9
2008 HS3
2019-May-09
14.6 LD
5.3
162
2018 VX8
2019-May-12
6.2 LD
15.5
118
2019 GT1
2019-May-17
6.1 LD
4
36
2012 KT12
2019-May-18
3.3 LD
3.9
20
2015 KQ18
2019-May-25
10.7 LD
13.1
30
66391
2019-May-25
13.5 LD
21.5
1780
2003 LH
2019-May-28
15.6 LD
7.4
32
2011 HP
2019-May-30
12.3 LD
8.4
135
2014 MF18
2019-Jun-06
8.8 LD
3
22
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

SOMETHING NEW! We have developed a new predictive model of aviation radiation. It's called E-RAD--short for Empirical RADiation model. We are constantly flying radiation sensors onboard airplanes over the US and and around the world, so far collecting more than 22,000 gps-tagged radiation measurements. Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.

E-RAD lets us do something new: Every day we monitor approximately 1400 flights criss-crossing the 10 busiest routes in the continental USA. Typically, this includes more than 80,000 passengers per day. E-RAD calculates the radiation exposure for every single flight.

The Hot Flights Table is a daily summary of these calculations. It shows the 5 charter flights with the highest dose rates; the 5 commercial flights with the highest dose rates; 5 commercial flights with near-average dose rates; and the 5 commercial flights with the lowest dose rates. Passengers typically experience dose rates that are 20 to 70 times higher than natural radiation at sea level.

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

En route to the stratosphere, our sensors also pass through aviation altitudes:

In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

  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
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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