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Solar wind
speed: 412.2 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
1755 UT Aug30
24-hr: C8
0246 UT Aug30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Aug 13
Sunspot AR1836 poses a growing threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 55
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Aug 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
30 Aug 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 109 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Aug 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.9 nT
Bz: 5.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Aug 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 30-31. 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: 08-30-2013 13:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Aug 30 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: 2013 Aug 30 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
45 %
MINOR
25 %
30 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
25 %
20 %
SEVERE
60 %
70 %
 
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
What's up in space
 

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

 
Spaceweather Radio is on the air

WEEKEND AURORA WATCH: NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of polar geomagnetic storms this weekend when a solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers, especially those located around the darkening Arctic Circle, should be alert for auroras. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

MAJOR FIREBALL EVENT, UPGRADED (AGAIN): NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office has upgraded its estimates of a major fireball that exploded over the southeastern USA around 2:30 AM on August 28th. Lead researcher Bill Cooke says "the fireball reached a peak apparent magnitude of -16, about 20 times brighter than a Full Moon, and cast shadows on the ground. This indicates that the meteoroid had a mass of more than 110 kg (240 lbs) and was up to a meter in diameter. It hit the top of Earth's atmosphere traveling 25 km/s (56,000 mph)." Watch the movie, then read more about the fireball below:

"This is the brightest event our network has observed in 5 years of operation," he continues. "There are reports of sonic booms reaching the ground, and data from 4 doppler radars indicate that some meteorites may have fallen along the fireball's ground track." (Note: The city in the ground track map is Cleveland, Tennessee, not Cleveland, Ohio.)

An initial calculation of the fireball's orbit suggested it might be a fragment from a Jupiter family comet. Improved estimates of the orbital parameters point to a different kind of object: a main belt asteroid. If meteorites are recovered from the Tennessee countryside, their chemical composition will tell researchers more about the origin of the fireball.

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

SPY SATELLITE SPOTTED: On Wednesday, Aug. 28th, a Delta IV Heavy rocket (the world's largest, according to the United Launch Alliance) blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its secret payload was classified by the US National Reconnaisance Office. So much for secrets. Amateur sky watchers are already tracking the NROL-65 satellite as it circles Earth. Kevin Fetter video-recorded the spysat last night as it glided silently over his back yard in Brockville, Ontario, Canada:

"In the video," says Fetter, "the satellite flew right by kappa Ophiuchus." That star is variable with a magnitude ranging between +4 and +5. Judging from the video, the satellite is about as bright as kappa Oph, say +4.5. This means it is faint but visible to the human eye from dark-sky sites.

No one outside classified circles knows exactly what this satellite does. Speculation is centering on the possibility that it is a KeyHole intelligence satellite of KH-11 lineage. Keyhole satellites are a bit like the Hubble Space Telescope, except pointed at Earth instead of the heavens. NROL-65 could be going up to replace a similar satellite, USA 186 (05042A / 28888), launched from Vendenberg in October 2005.

Would you like to see NROL-65 for yourself? Download this app to turn your smartphone into a spysat tracker. Our Simple Flybys web tool is also tracking NROL-65. If it is looking at you, you might as well look back.

SPACE WEATHER RADIO UPDATE: As a result of indiscriminate "sequester" budget cuts, the USAF Space Surveillance Radar will be shut down at the end of September. Readers have asked what this means for Space Weather Radio. For years we have broadcast Space Surveillance Radar echoes from meteors passing over the facility. Anticipating the shutdown, our radio engineer Stan Nelson is changing frequencies. "I have erected a new 50 MHz 4-element beam antenna for the Digital TV carrier of 54.310 MHz and have it feeding the receiver at SpaceWeatherRadio.com," he explains. The echoes we hear now will be TV signals bouncing off the ionized trails of meteors. "I will be experimenting with the direction and signal strength over the next couple of days, so stay tuned."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


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


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 August 30, 2013 there were 1423 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 QG11
Aug 25
5.5 LD
25 m
2013 QR1
Aug 25
8.2 LD
215 m
2002 JR9
Aug 31
63.5 LD
1.4 km
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49.1 LD
3.2 km
2011 JY1
Nov 13
8.2 LD
57 m
2001 AV43
Nov 18
2.9 LD
58 m
2010 CL19
Nov 25
37.6 LD
1.3 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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