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Solar wind
speed: 357.9 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
2134 UT Aug29
24-hr: C1
0435 UT Aug29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Aug 13
None of these sunspots poses a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 44
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Aug 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

29 Aug 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Aug 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.4 nT
Bz: 2.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Aug 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Aug. 30-31. Credit: SDO/AIA. is now posting daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 08-29-2013 11:55:02
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Aug 29 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 Aug 29 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
40 %
40 %
25 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
25 %
25 %
65 %
60 %
Thursday, Aug. 29, 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 SUNSPOTS, ACTIVE FILAMENT: None of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun is actively flaring. Technically, this means solar activity is "low." Nevertheless, a large magnetic filament in the sun's southern hemisphere erupted during the early hours of August 29th: movie. The CME it hurled into space might have an Earth-directed component. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

MAJOR FIREBALL EVENT: Bill Cooke of NASA Meteoroid Environment Office reports that a major fireball event occurred over the southeastern USA on August 28th. The explosion was brighter than the Moon and it might have scattered meteorites on the ground. Watch the movie, then read Cooke's full report below:

"On August 28 at 07:27 UTC (2:27 AM local time in Alabama), all six NASA all-sky cameras in the southeast picked up a very bright fireball," he says. "Its peak magnitude was approximately -11, or six times brighter than the Last Quarter Moon. This may very well be the brightest event our network has observed in 5 years of operation."

"The cameras were completely saturated, necessitating a manual solution of the fireball's trajectory and orbit," he adds. Initial results indicate that the meteoroid massed 45 kg (roughly 0.3 to 0.4 meters in diameter) and hit the top of Earth's atmosphere traveling 23.7 km/s (53,000 mph).

Cooke is currently examining doppler radar records and other data to determine where the fall zone is located.

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

SPY SATELLITE SPOTTED: On Wednesday, Aug. 28th, a Delta IV Heavy rocket (the world's largest, according to the United Launch Alliance) blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its secret payload was classified by the US National Reconnaisance Office. So much for secrets. Amateur sky watchers are already tracking the NROL-65 satellite as it circles Earth. Kevin Fetter video-recorded the spysat last night as it glided silently over his back yard in Brockville, Ontario, Canada:

"In the video," says Fetter, "the satellite flew right by kappa Ophiuchus." That star is variable with a magnitude ranging between +4 and +5. Judging from the video, the satellite is about as bright as kappa Oph, say +4.5. This means it is faint but visible to the human eye from dark-sky sites.

No one outside classified circles knows exactly what this satellite does. Speculation is centering on the possibility that it is a KeyHole intelligence satellite of KH-11 lineage. Keyhole satellites are a bit like the Hubble Space Telescope, except pointed at Earth instead of the heavens. NROL-65 could be going up to replace a similar satellite, USA 186 (05042A / 28888), launched from Vendenberg in October 2005.

Would you like to see NROL-65 for yourself? Download this app to turn your smartphone into a spysat tracker. Our Simple Flybys web tool is also tracking NROL-65. If it is looking at you, you might as well look back.

SPACE WEATHER RADIO UPDATE: As a result of indiscriminate "sequester" budget cuts, the USAF Space Surveillance Radar will be shut down at the end of September. Readers have asked what this means for Space Weather Radio. For years we have broadcast Space Surveillance Radar echoes from meteors passing over the facility. Anticipating the shutdown, our radio engineer Stan Nelson is changing frequencies. "I have erected a new 50 MHz 4-element beam antenna for the Digital TV carrier of 54.310 MHz and have it feeding the receiver at," he explains. The echoes we hear now will be TV signals bouncing off the ionized trails of meteors. "I will be experimenting with the direction and signal strength over the next couple of days, so stay tuned."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

  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 August 29, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 QG11
Aug 25
5.5 LD
25 m
2013 QR1
Aug 25
8.2 LD
215 m
2002 JR9
Aug 31
63.5 LD
1.4 km
2000 DK79
Nov 10
49.1 LD
3.2 km
2011 JY1
Nov 13
8.2 LD
57 m
2001 AV43
Nov 18
2.9 LD
58 m
2010 CL19
Nov 25
37.6 LD
1.3 km
2013 NJ
Nov 26
2.5 LD
180 m
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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