Solar wind
speed: 355.1 km/sec
density: 5.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1831 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A9
1213 UT Nov13
24-hr: A9
1018 UT Nov13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1800 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Nov 19
Although it has not received an official number from NOAA, there is a small sunspot at the circled location. Its magnetic polarity suggests it is a member of new Solar Cycle 25. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Nov 2019

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2019 total: 236 days (74%)
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 13 Nov 2019


Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 3.79
x1010 W Cold
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data: gfx, txt
Updated 13
Nov 2019

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 71 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Nov 2019

Cosmic Rays Solar minimum is underway. The sun's magnetic field is weak, allowing extra cosmic rays into the solar system. Neutron counts from the University of Oulu's Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory show that cosmic rays reaching Earth in 2019 are near a Space Age peak.

Oulu Neutron Counts

Percentages of the Space Age average:
today: +8.6% High
7-day change: -0.9%
Max: +11.7% Very High
(12/2009)
Min: -32.1% Very Low (06/1991)
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Nov 2019 @ 1700 UT

Since 2015, Earth to Sky cosmic ray balloons launched weekly from California have also detected significant increases in atmospheric radiation. Dose rates reported below are in the stratosphere at approx. 100,000 ft.

California Cosmic Ray Balloons
Monitoring started in March 2015
now: 4.64 uGy/hr High
change since 2015: +19%
Max: 4.79 uGy/hr High
(10/2019)
Min: 3.80 uGy/hr Low (05/2015)
explanation | more data
Updated 19 Oct 2019 @ 0400 UT

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 0
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.6 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT north
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1829 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Nov 19

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Nov. 16-17.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds The southern hemisphere season for noctilucent clouds is about to begin. Daily images from NASA's AIM spacecraft have resumed.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 11-11-2019 13:55:02 UT
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2019 Nov 12 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 Nov 12 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
10 %
10 %
 
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019
What's up in space
       
 

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SOLAR WIND, INCOMING: A hole in the sun's atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind in our direction. Estimated time of arrival: Nov. 16-17. There is a slight chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms when the gaseous material reaches Earth. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.

STARLINK SATELLITES VISIBLE AGAIN: They're back. A new train of Starlink satellites is crossing the night sky following SpaceX's Monday launch of 60 more internet-orbiters. "I saw them last night completely by accident," reports Paul Johnson of Mecca, California. "I was setting up my camera to photograph the moonrise in Box Canyon when the train appeared. They looked like planes flying by." 

On the outskirts of Los Angeles, Jim Young saw them as well. "I counted 49 of them!" says Young, who couldn't quite fit the entire train in these photos:

"They were easy to see in bright moonlight even with the glare of Los Angeles in the background," says Young. "I estimate their magnitude to be +3 to +4. For comparison, the bright 'star' in the photo above is Jupiter."

The satellites were even brighter over San Diego where Evan Zucker recorded this video on Nov. 12th:

"I've looked very carefully at the stars in my video," says Zucker. "I  estimate that the satellites are about as bright as Rasalhague--that is, 2nd magnitude."

Both Zucker and Young used Heavens Above to predict the Starlink flybys. Go to Heavens-Above.com, set your location, and select "Starlink Launch 2" under the "10-day predictions for satellites of special interest" section. "Their predictions were accurate as usual," says Young.

Look now, because these satellites will fade in the nights ahead as they ascend to their operational orbits 500+ km above Earth. Even at that altitude, however, satellites from the first Starlink launch in May are visible at magnitudes ranging from +4 (naked-eye) to +7 (easy for telescopes). So they won't vanish completely. Ultimately, SpaceX hopes to surround Earth with 30,000 Starlink satellites to provide widespread internet access. With that many artificial stars in the offing, astronomers are understandably concerned.

Realtime Spaceweather Photo Gallery
Free:
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FAR-OUT CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT: Impressive. Most impressive. On Nov. 2nd, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a cosmic ray balloon to the stratosphere. Darth Vader went along for the ride, floating 109,580 feet above the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains of central California:

You can have him for $97.95. The students are selling Vader to support their cosmic ray ballooning program. This 5-inch tall blown glass ornament will look great on your holiday tree. It comes with a greeting card showing the Sith Lord in flight and telling the story of his journey to the edge of space and back again.

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

TRANSIT OF MERCURY--OUT OF THIS WORLD IMAGES: Millions of people on Earth witnessed the transit of Mercury on Nov. 11th when the tiny black form of the first planet crossed the face of the sun. The best views were out of this world--literally. More than 22,000 miles above Earth's surface, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded an incredible movie of the transit. Click to play it:


Having trouble playing this movie? An alternate version is available on Vimeo.

This movie is unlike any recorded on Earth. High above our planet's atmosphere, extreme ultraviolet telescopes onboard SDO were able to see Mercury making first contact with the sun's outer atmosphere, the corona. The wavelengths required to gain this view are blocked by air and only visible from space.

More out-of-this-world images of the transit may be found in our photo gallery. Browse and enjoy!

Transit of Mercury Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter


Realtime Spaceweather Photo Gallery
Free:
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Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free:
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  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 Nov. 13, 2019, the network reported 23 fireballs.
(16 sporadics, 3 northern Taurids, 2 omicron Eridanids, 2 Leonids)

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 13, 2019 there were 2018 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2019 VM1
2019-Nov-08
11.3 LD
6.1
19
2019 UM12
2019-Nov-08
1.3 LD
13.6
41
2019 UR4
2019-Nov-08
7.3 LD
4.5
15
2019 VE2
2019-Nov-09
7.1 LD
5
12
2019 VB5
2019-Nov-09
0.4 LD
6.2
2
2019 VP3
2019-Nov-09
6.5 LD
9.4
9
2019 VF5
2019-Nov-09
0.5 LD
18
11
2019 VK4
2019-Nov-10
10.8 LD
13.7
16
2019 VT3
2019-Nov-10
9.5 LD
5.3
8
2019 UB7
2019-Nov-10
13.7 LD
17.5
56
2019 VX3
2019-Nov-11
4 LD
16
15
2019 VE5
2019-Nov-11
14.1 LD
16.2
26
2019 VX2
2019-Nov-11
3.6 LD
6.2
6
2019 VN
2019-Nov-11
3.1 LD
13.6
36
2019 VW1
2019-Nov-12
15.3 LD
8.5
26
2019 VK3
2019-Nov-12
10.5 LD
19.4
27
2019 VN2
2019-Nov-12
16 LD
3.8
14
2010 JG
2019-Nov-12
19.6 LD
14.9
235
2019 UB14
2019-Nov-12
4.9 LD
15.4
22
2019 UH1
2019-Nov-13
9.5 LD
9.1
52
2019 UN12
2019-Nov-13
3.8 LD
28.8
147
2019 VX
2019-Nov-13
4.1 LD
10.8
31
2019 UE8
2019-Nov-15
7.7 LD
6.6
26
2019 VL5
2019-Nov-15
9.3 LD
8.4
25
2019 UR2
2019-Nov-18
18 LD
13.4
130
2019 UK6
2019-Nov-20
15.4 LD
7.8
63
481394
2019-Nov-21
11.3 LD
7.9
372
2019 VK
2019-Nov-21
5.8 LD
7.6
43
2008 EA9
2019-Nov-23
10.5 LD
2.2
10
2019 VF1
2019-Nov-25
13.3 LD
17.2
90
2017 AP4
2019-Dec-03
8.5 LD
7.5
15
2019 VH5
2019-Dec-07
17.9 LD
10.2
72
2018 XW2
2019-Dec-07
17.4 LD
13
28
216258
2019-Dec-20
15.3 LD
11.8
324
2013 XY20
2019-Dec-21
18.4 LD
1.9
28
2017 XQ60
2019-Dec-22
11 LD
15.6
47
310442
2019-Dec-26
19 LD
12.3
372
2019 AE3
2020-Jan-02
4.9 LD
8.2
13
2019 UO
2020-Jan-10
11.8 LD
9.4
383
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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