Solar wind
speed: 351.6 km/sec
density: 2.16 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 0408 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C5
0353 UT Feb24
24-hr: M2
1747 UT Feb23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 0410 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Feb 24
Expand: labels | no labels | Carrington
Big sunspot AR3590 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 116
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Feb 2024

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2024 total: 0 days (0%)
2023 total: 0 days (0%)
2022 total: 1 day (<1%)
2021 total: 64 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 23 Feb 2024

Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 18.12x1010 W Warm
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data: gfx, txt
Updated 23 Feb 2024

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 173 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Feb 2024

Cosmic Rays Solar Cycle 25 is intensifying, 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: -5.3% Low
48-hr change: -0.3%
Max: +11.7% Very High
Min: -32.1% Very Low (06/1991)
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Feb 2024 @ 0700 UT

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1.00 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1.33
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.60 nT
Bz: 2.43 nT north
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 0407 UT
Coronal Holes: 22 Feb 24

A stream of solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole could hit Earth on Feb. 26th.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Polar Stratospheric Clouds
Colorful Type II polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) form when the temperature in the stratosphere drops to a staggeringly low -85C. NASA's MERRA-2 climate model predicts when the air up there is cold enough:

On Feb. 23, 2024, the Arctic stratosphere is much too warm for Type II polar stratospheric clouds. | more data.

Noctilucent Clouds
The southern season for NLCs is over. The first clouds were detected inside the Antarctic Circle on Dec. 4, 2023, by the NOAA 21 satellite. The same satellite detected the last cloud on Feb. 21, 2024. Daily maps are now blank:

noctilucent clouds
Updated: Feb 22, 2024

An instrument onboard NOAA 21 (OMPS LP) is able to detect NLCs (also known as "polar mesospheric clouds" or PMCs). Now that the southern season has ended, attention turns to the northern hemisphere. The first NLCs should appear inside the Arctic Circle in mid to late May.

NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2024 Feb 23 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
30 %
30 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2024 Feb 23 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
25 %
01 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
25 %
20 %
35 %
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
What's up in space

This is an AI Free Zone! Text created by ChatGPT and other Large Language Models is spreading rapidly across the Internet. It's well-written, artificial, frequently inaccurate. If you find a mistake on, rest assured it was made by a real human being.


GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH (G1): Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on Feb. 25th when a CME is expected graze Earth's magnetic field. The CME was *not* produced by this week's X-flares. Instead, it was hurled into space by an erupting filament of magnetism (movie) on Feb. 21st. Aurora alerts: SMS Text

THREE X-FLARES, ZERO CMES: Giant sunspot AR3590 is living up to the hype. In only 23 hours spanning Feb. 21-22, the active region unleashed three powerful X-class solar flares (X1.8, X1.7 and X6.3). The X6.3 flare is the strongest of Solar Cycle 25, so far, and the most powerful flare since the great solar storms of Sept. 2017.

The ultraviolet afterglow of yesterday's X6.3-class solar flare. Credit: NASA/SDO

Extreme ultraviolet radiation from each flare ionized the top of Earth's atmosphere, causing shortwave radio blackouts over Hawaii (late on Feb 21st), Australia (early on Feb. 22nd), and Hawaii again (late on Feb. 22nd). Mariners and ham radio operators in those areas may have noticed loss of signal at all frequencies below 30 MHz.

You might think all these flares would have hurled at least one CME toward Earth. In fact, the number is zero. SOHO coronagraphs have not detected any CMEs emerging from the blast zone. Sometimes this happens. Flares can occur without CMEs, and CMEs can occur without flares.

Disappointed aurora watchers shouldn't give up hope, though; AR3590 isn't finished. The sunspot has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for more X-class explosions. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

18K GOLD "LOVE YOU TO THE MOON" LOCKET: This is a very special locket. It's heart-shaped, plated with 18K gold, and we will fly it again during this year's total eclipse of the sun. Keep reading...

On Jan. 26, 2024, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched this locket to the stratosphere onboard a cosmic ray research balloon. At the apex of the flight, it floated 111,535 feet above the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California:

Buy it now for $149.95, and we'll fly it again--FOR FREE--during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The students will be launching multiple balloons from the path of totality in Texas. Your pendant will go along for the ride, touching the shadow of the Moon at the edge of space. (Simply type "FLY IT AGAIN" in the comments box at checkout.)

The locket, which opens to hold a personal photo or other small item, comes with a greeting card showing the jewelry in flight and telling the story of its journey to the edge of space.

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

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery
Free: Newsletter

  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 Feb 23, 2024, the network reported 5 fireballs.
(5 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 February 24, 2024 there were 2349 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2024 CA8
7.6 LD
2024 BC8
6.2 LD
2024 DY
0.4 LD
2024 CH2
5.7 LD
2024 CJ6
4.6 LD
2024 CV8
1.2 LD
2024 DC
12.5 LD
2024 DL1
6.5 LD
2024 CK5
7.3 LD
2024 DM1
8.7 LD
2024 CL5
4.8 LD
2024 DW
0.6 LD
2024 CE8
10.6 LD
2024 DX
2 LD
2024 DJ1
12.5 LD
2024 BY15
12 LD
2024 CL3
9.3 LD
2024 CT7
6.2 LD
2024 CC7
15.4 LD
2024 CE7
13.6 LD
2024 DL
4.6 LD
2024 CA7
14.9 LD
2019 DA1
14.6 LD
2024 CW6
10 LD
2024 CK8
6.9 LD
2024 DA1
9.4 LD
2015 FM34
19.4 LD
2020 FU
14.9 LD
2024 CJ8
17.3 LD
2020 FD
4.5 LD
2024 BD7
18.8 LD
2019 CJ
12.4 LD
2021 CF6
14.6 LD
2023 RO49
14.1 LD
2015 MB54
11.7 LD
2024 DQ
6.4 LD
2018 CC14
19.6 LD
2023 GC2
8.7 LD
2005 FG
18.4 LD
2020 BP13
15.2 LD
2021 RJ19
19.6 LD
2021 GQ5
8.8 LD
2023 FN13
3.3 LD
2022 UO1
16.7 LD
18.4 LD
8.5 LD
2023 HU3
15.9 LD
2021 JW2
1.6 LD
2017 SA20
3.8 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.
  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 7 years, resulting in a unique dataset of in situ atmospheric measurements.

Latest results (July 2022): Atmospheric radiation is decreasing in 2022. Our latest measurements in July 2022 registered a 6-year low:

What's going on? Ironically, the radiation drop is caused by increasing solar activity. Solar Cycle 25 has roared to life faster than forecasters expected. The sun's strengthening and increasingly tangled magnetic field repels cosmic rays from deep space. In addition, solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays, causing sharp reductions called "Forbush Decreases." The two effects blend together to bring daily radiation levels down.

.Who cares? Cosmic rays are a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. They can alter the chemistry of the atmosphere, 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. A number of controversial studies (#1, #2, #3, #4) go even further, linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

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 graph labeled "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
Starlink Satellite Statistics
  current counts of failed and deployed Starlink satellites from Jonathan's Space Page
The Aerospace Corporation
  Authoritative predictions of space junk and satellite re-entries
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
Live Aurora Webcam
  from Lights over Lapland
  the underlying science of space weather welcomes these supporters of science communication: RV Sales and Arizona Web Design & SEO and Ketamine Treatment & Therapy and C8 Corvette | Pest Control in PhoenixHVAC repair in South Jersey 

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.
Marketing yourself on YouTube is hard without real organic views on your videos. You can buy organic YouTube views from RealSocialz that are actually real. Highly recommended!
NASA Near Earth Asteroid Home Page

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