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Solar wind
speed: 248.6 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2147 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1730 UT Sep30
24-hr: C1
0003 UT Sep30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2100 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Sep 13
Sunspot AR1850 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 39
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 Sep 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 Sep 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 103sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Sep 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.4 nT
Bz: 1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2147 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Sep 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 Sep 29 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 Sep 29 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
25 %
SEVERE
40 %
25 %
 
Monday, Sep. 30, 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

MAGNIFICENT ERUPTION: Breaking the quiet in spectacular fashion, a magnetic filament erupted from the sun's northern hemisphere at approximately 2145 UT on Sept. 29th. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast:

Another movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory zooms in to show the filament ripping through the sun's atmosphere and leaving behind a "canyon of fire." The glowing "canyon" traces the channel where magnetic forces held the filament aloft before the explosion.

This event also hurled a magnificent CME into space: movie (Credit: SOHO). The magnetized cloud, which left the sun traveling approximately 900 km/s (2 million mph), was not aimed toward Earth. Nevertheless, our planet's magnetosphere might receive a glancing blow on Oct. 2-3. Polar geomagnetic storms and auroras are possible when the CME arrives. Stay tuned for updates. Geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

COMET ISON APPROACHES MARS: In two months, Comet ISON will make a spectacular flyby of the sun. First, though, it has to fly by Mars. The sungrazing comet is approaching the Red Planet for a 0.07 AU close encounter on October 1st. Mars satellites and rovers will have a close-up view. A video from NASA details the encounter.

Amateur astronomers on Earth can watch, too. Using a remotely controlled 14-inch telescope in New Mexico, Rolando Ligustri photographed ISON approaching Mars on September 28th:

At closest approach on October 1st, 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 definitely 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: Sept. 28, 29, 30; 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

OHIO FIREBALL: On Sept. 27th, a meteor exploded in the skies above the US midwest. Witnesses report shadows cast upon the ground, unusual sounds, and a swirling contrail marking the aftermath of the blast. "It was the most brilliant fireball that I have ever seen!" reports Angela McClain, who sends this picture from Faith Ranch in Jewett, Ohio:

"The entire landscape lit up," she continues. "I spun around and there it was, a huge, bright green light, streaking across the sky. Even when it was gone, there was still a bright line in the sky about 20 seconds later. We were all stunned."

A NASA all-sky camera in Hiram, Ohio, also recorded the fireball: movie.

"This was a very bright event," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "Flares saturated our meteor cameras, and made determination of the end point (the terminus of the fireball's flight through the atmosphere) virtually impossible. Judging from the brightness, we are dealing with a meter class object."

Data from multiple cameras shows that the meteoroid hit Earth's atmosphere traveling 51 km/s (114,000 mph) and passed almost directly over Columbus, Ohio. Cooke has prepared a preliminary map of the ground track. According to the American Meteor Society, the fireball was visible from at least 14 US states.


Realtime Aurora 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 September 30, 2013 there were 1429 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 SK20
Sep 29
2.3 LD
15 m
2013 SC21
Oct 7
8.8 LD
42 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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