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Solar wind
speed: 518.4 km/sec
density: 4.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C7
1747 UT Jan05
24-hr: C7
1747 UT Jan05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Jan 15
Sunspot AR2253 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for M- and X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 124
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Jan 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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%)

Update 05 Jan 2015

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 150 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 Jan 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.3 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
Coronal Holes: 05 Jan 15
Earth is entering a stream of solar wind flowing from this large southern coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds As of Nov. 22, 2014, the season for southern hemisphere noctilucent clouds is underway. The south polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from NASA's AIM spacecraft.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 01-05-2015 09:55:05
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 Jan 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
50 %
10 %
10 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2015 Jan 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
30 %
25 %
40 %
20 %
Monday, Jan. 5, 2015
What's up in space

Learn to photograph Northern Lights like a pro. Sign up for Peter Rosen's Aurora Photo Courses in Abisko National Park.

Lapland tours

CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class solar flares today. The likely source would be Earth-facing sunspot AR2253, a large active region with an unstable magnetic field. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

SOLAR WIND SPARKS NORTHERN LIGHTS: Earth is entering a stream of solar wind flowing from a coronal hole in the sun's southern hemisphere. The bulk of the stream is flowing south of our planet, but enough is making contact to spark bright Northern Lights. Rayann Elzein sends this picture from the Finnish Lapland:

"The auroras started at about 3:45pm, just after the sky here became dark enough to see them," says Elzein. "Soon I was watching one of the most amazing, fast and bright displays that I have ever seen. This is a good sign for the evenings ahead with solar wind from the major coronal hole south of the sun reaching our planet!"

The auroras were so bright, even the Full Moon could not wipe them out. "We saw a very nice moon halo arcing through the green curtains--a nice bonus," adds Elzein.

The auroras will probably be back tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of polar geomagnetic storms as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

VENUS AND MERCURY: Tonight, when the sun goes down, step outside and face west. Mercury and Venus are converging in the sunset sky. Venus is on top in this picture taken by Giorgia Hofer on Jan. 3rd:

"I was standing on top of Monte Rite (2,300 m) in the Italian Dolomites," says Hofer. "The two planets were an easy target for my Nikon digital camera with a 3 second exposure."

As the week unfolds, the two planets will draw closer and closer together. On the date of closest approach, Jan. 10th, they will be a scant 0.7 degrees apart--a conjunction so tight you can block it out with the tip of your pinky finger held at arm's length.

Venus is the brighter of the two, by a factor of approximately 16. If you can't see Mercury with the naked eye, you might be looking too soon after sunset. Wait a while for the twilight to deepen. Or if you have binoculars, aim them at Venus to reel in Mercury.

Monitor's photo gallery for Venus-Mercury snapshots from around the world. Better yet, go outside and see for yourself.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  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 Jan. 5, 2015, the network reported 9 fireballs.
(9 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 January 5, 2015 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 YD15
Dec 31
1.6 LD
19 m
2014 YE42
Jan 3
4.3 LD
88 m
2014 YP34
Jan 4
8.8 LD
27 m
2007 EJ
Jan 12
68.9 LD
1.1 km
1991 VE
Jan 17
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2004 BL86
Jan 26
3.1 LD
650 m
2008 CQ
Jan 31
4.8 LD
36 m
2000 EE14
Feb 27
72.5 LD
1.6 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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