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Solar wind
speed: 377.9 km/sec
density: 2.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2226 UT Mar24
24-hr: B2
2226 UT Mar24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Mar 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 56
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 Mar 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

24 Mar 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 98 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 24 Mar 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.3 nT
Bz: 2.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 Mar 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on March 29-30. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Mar 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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 Mar 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013
What's up in space

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

Own your own meteorite

QUIET SUN: This weekend, none of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun is actively flaring. NOAA forecasters put the odds of a significant eruption at no more than 5%. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

FOUR HOURS IN A FEW MINUTES: On March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field, sparking shamrock-green auroras around the Arctic Circle. Many photographers were exhausted from staying up all night to record the display. Goran Strand of Froson, Sweden, kept working, though. "I've spent the last five days processing the images I recorded." Click to view four hours of Northern Lights in only a few minutes:

"The time lapse consists of 2464 raw images totaling 30 gigabytes," he says. "The photo of the Sun in the movie is a hydrogen-alpha mosaic I made from ten images captured on March 16th, the day before the storm. That one was 10 gigabytes. So, all in all, this movie contains over 40 gigabytes of data."

A similar display tonight is unlikely. No CMEs are en route to Earth, and the solar wind is calm. NOAA forecasters estimate a scant 5% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on March 24th. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

TIPS FOR OBSERVING COMET PAN-STARRS: Comet Pan-STARRS is fading as it recedes from the sun. In recent nights, several experienced observers put its magnitude near +2.3, only about half as bright as last week. Time is running out for easy spotting and photography.

Below, astrophotographer John Chumack of Dayton, Ohio, offers "some tips for capturing your keepsake photo." Follow his recipe to take a picture like this:

"Find a low west-northwest horizon," he advises. "Be ready before sunset, so you can mark the horizon where the sun set as a reference to find the comet. A digital camera with manual settings is all you need to photograph Pan-STARRS. Try 1 to 30 second exposures at ISO settings ranging from 400 to 1600, about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset. The twilight fades fast, so increase your ISO and exposure time to compensate." Click here for additional details.

Using procedures similar to Chumack's, photographers have recently captured Comet Pan-STARRS over the Grand Canyon, Stonehenge, Greek monuments, Lake Superior, and many other scenic locations.

More: NASA video, 3D orbit, ephemeris, light curves.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Space Weather 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 March 24, 2013 there were 1389 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 ES11
Mar 22
6.3 LD
80 m
2013 FG
Mar 24
3.8 LD
32 m
2013 FD8
Mar 27
8.5 LD
28 m
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 km
2013 EL89
Mar 29
4.6 LD
29 m
2013 FB8
Mar 30
4.2 LD
44 m
2010 GM23
Apr 13
3.9 LD
50 m
2005 NZ6
Apr 29
24.9 LD
1.3 km
2001 DQ8
Apr 30
74.3 LD
1.1 km
2004 BV102
May 25
69.9 LD
1.4 km
1998 QE2
May 31
15.2 LD
2.2 km
2000 FM10
Jun 5
50.3 LD
1.3 km
2002 KL3
Jun 6
66.4 LD
1.1 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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