Solar wind
speed: 388.4 km/sec
density: 7.5 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 0545 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
0012 UT Nov29
24-hr: B8
0859 UT Nov28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 0550 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Nov 21
Expand: labels | no labels
Sunspots AR2898 and AR2900 are both crackling with B-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 53
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Nov 2021

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2021 total: 60 days (18%)
2020 total: 208 days (57%)
2019 total: 281 days (77%)
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 28 Nov 2021

Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 7.80
x1010 W Cool
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data: gfx, txt
Updated 28 Nov 2021

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 92 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Nov 2021

Cosmic Rays Solar Cycle 25 is beginning, and this is reflected in the number of cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere. Neutron counts from the University of Oulu's Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory show that cosmic rays reaching Earth are slowly declining--a result of the yin-yang relationship between the solar cycle and cosmic rays.

Oulu Neutron Counts

Percentages of the Space Age average:
today: +9.0% High
48-hr change: -0.8 %
Max: +11.7% Very High
Min: -32.1% Very Low (06/1991)
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Nov 2021 @ 0700 UT

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz: -2.9 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 0546 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Nov 21

A minor stream of solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 28.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds The northern hemisphere season for noctilucent clouds appears to be over. NASA's AIM spacecraft detected no evidence of NLCs around the north pole on Aug. 29th.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at:
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2021 Nov 28 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
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: 2021 Nov 28 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
25 %
20 %
25 %
10 %
Monday, Nov. 29, 2021
What's up in space

Lights Over Lapland has a full catalogue of exciting adventures in Abisko National Park, Sweden! Check out our daytime and evening activities and book your adventure!


SOLAR ORBITER SURVIVES RISKY FLYBY: Europe's Solar Orbiter buzzed Earth on Saturday just 470 km above the Atlantic Ocean. The close approach brought the spacecraft within the debris zone of Russia's recent ASAT test. Spoiler alert: It survived. Scott Tucker photographed Solar Orbiter racing through the constellation Aries just after the flyby. Watch the movie.

AFTERGLOW OF A CME: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 27th (23:30 UT). The weak impact did not cause a geomagnetic storm, but there was a beautiful afterglow. Aurora tour guide Marianne Bergli photographed it from Tromsø, Norway:

"My guests were a little skeptical at first ... then Boom! Wow, Fantastic," she says. "The colors were absolutely amazing."

The display occured hours after the CME struck. Earth was passing through the CME's wake when magnetic fields trailing the storm cloud opened a crack in our planet's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in, sparking auroras around the Arctic Circle. This sequence is not uncommon. First contact with a CME often produces surprisingly little activity. Then comes the afterglow. Aurora alerts: SMS Text

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

THE DAYTIME MOON: Some people think the Moon can only be seen at night. "In fact," says Taiwanese phtographer Meiying Lee, "if you look up at the sky, you will find that not only can the Moon be seen during the day, but also that it is very charming." This combined photo shows daytime Moons of all phases photographed by Lee over the past 5 years:

"A special thing about this photo is that you can see the relationship between the Moon and the sky," says Lee. "Crescent Moons are near the sun, so they can only be observed during sunset and sunrise; the sky around them is pink or off-white. Blue sky surrounds half Moons and gibbous Moons, which are relatively easy to find in broad daylight."

"The full Moon during the day is the most difficult to observe," says Lee. "In the summer, daytime is longer and there is a chance to observe it. But the weather in the summer afternoon is often bad in Taiwan, so in the past five years I could barely get a single picture of the full Moon on a misty day--the last one in the second row."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

GIFTS FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE: Christmas is coming. Are you looking for a far-out gift? Check out the Earth to Sky Store. It's filled with unique items that have flown to the edge of space onboard cosmic ray research balloons.

Carried aloft by giant helium balloons, these unique gifts have flown above 99.7% of Earth's atmosphere, experiencing space-like blasts of cosmic rays, extreme cold, and a wild ride parachuting back to Earth after the balloon explodes. Even Amazon doesn't carry items this far out.

Don't forget to enter coupon code "BLACKPEARL" at checkout for a 15% Extended Black Friday discount.

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

  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

On Nov 28, 2021, the network reported 17 fireballs.
(17 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 November 29, 2021 there were 2241 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2021 WT
1.4 LD
2021 VL16
14.3 LD
2021 WW1
9.2 LD
2021 WC
14.3 LD
2021 WG
2.3 LD
2014 WF201
13.2 LD
2021 VR4
2.1 LD
2009 WB105
15.1 LD
2021 VQ27
2.7 LD
2021 VF11
18.6 LD
2019 BB5
18.8 LD
2021 WA1
0.8 LD
2021 VM
9.4 LD
2021 WC1
0.5 LD
2021 VO12
7.3 LD
1994 WR12
16.1 LD
2021 WK1
2.7 LD
2021 WJ1
4.5 LD
2021 WR
6.8 LD
2021 UP4
13.9 LD
2021 VX7
14.8 LD
2021 WE1
5.6 LD
2021 WV1
1.5 LD
10.3 LD
2021 WQ1
7.8 LD
2021 VW27
18.7 LD
2019 XQ1
14.1 LD
2021 VT6
7.7 LD
2004 YC
18.4 LD
14.2 LD
2021 LX3
19.7 LD
2016 YY10
11.3 LD
2017 XQ60
13.7 LD
2016 TR54
16.9 LD
2018 AH
11.9 LD
2017 AE3
9.3 LD
2014 YE15
19.3 LD
2020 AP1
4.6 LD
2013 YD48
14.6 LD
2021 BA
9.8 LD
5.2 LD
2018 PN22
11.4 LD
2017 XC62
18.7 LD
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

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Almost once a week, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with sensors that detect secondary cosmic rays, a form of radiation from space that can penetrate all the way down to Earth's surface. Our monitoring program has been underway without interruption for 6 years, resulting in a unique dataset of in situ atmospheric measurements.

Latest results: Our most recent flight on June 25, 2021, confirms a trend of decreasing cosmic radiation:

Cosmic ray dose rates peaked in late 2019, and have been slowly declining ever since. This makes perfect sense. Solar Minimum was in late 2019. During Solar Minimum the sun's magnetic field weakens, allowing more cosmic rays into the solar system. We expect dose rate to be highest at that time.

Now that Solar Minimum has passed, the sun is waking up again. Solar magnetic fields are strengthening, providing a stiffer barrier to cosmic rays trying to enter the solar system. The decline of cosmic radiation above California is a sign that new Solar Cycle 25 is gaining strength.

.Who cares? Cosmic rays are a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. They can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. According to a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan school of public health, crews of aircraft have higher rates of cancer than the general population. The researchers listed cosmic rays, irregular sleep habits, and chemical contaminants as leading risk factors. Somewhat more controversial studies (#1, #2, #3, #4) llink cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

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 higher you fly, the more radiation you will absorb.

Technical notes:

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.

Data points in the first graph ("Stratospheric Radiation") correspond to the peak of the Regener-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 Regener and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

  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.
  information about sunspots based on the latest NOAA/USAF Active Region Summary
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
  the underlying science of space weather

To get the best views of the cosmos, check out the Phoenix Window Glass Replacement experts for all your window and glass needs

To get an up close view of the heavenly bodies surrounding Earth, think about selling your junk car for cash and buying a high quality telescope. welcomes these supporters of science communication: RV Sales and Arizona SEO and Arizona Business Directory and C8 Corvette | Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer | Phoenix SEO
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NASA Near Earth Asteroid Home Page

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