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Solar wind
speed: 529.5 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1944 UT Mar30
24-hr: B8
1024 UT Mar30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Mar 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 73
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 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

29 Mar 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 99 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Mar 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 5
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.1 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Mar 13
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Mar 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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 30 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
15 %
15 %
10 %
Saturday, Mar. 30, 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

EMERGING SUNSPOT: A large farside sunspot that hurled multiple CMEs toward Venus a week ago is now rotating onto the Earthside of the sun. Its potential for additional eruptions will become more clear as it turns toward our planet in the days ahead. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking bright auroras around the poles. During the early hours of March 30th, geomagnetic activity registered G1 on NOAA storm scales. There is a 20% to 25% chance of additional geomagnetic storms tonight as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

"There is nothing like a geomagnetic storm to put an aurora photographer in a good mood, especially when his mother traveled half way across the world for one reason--to see the Northern Lights," says aurora tour guide Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park in Sweden. Here she is beneath a green curtain on March 29th:

"Just as the Arctic sun sank low enough in the sky for us to see the stars and planets the auroras appeared," continued Blakley. "On several occasions the lights danced and twirled in the sky as everyone, including my mother, watched in awe. I am hopeful for a few more nice displays before the midnight sun ends the aurora season once and for all."

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

FADING COMET PAN-STARRS STILL PHOTOGENIC: "Comet Pan-STARRS continues to fade," reports University of Colorado atmospheric sciences Prof. Richard Keen. "My latest estimate from yesterday puts it at 3rd magnitude." This means the comet is 15 times fainter than it was when it emerged from within the orbit of Mercury on March 11th. Despite the fade, Pan-STARRS remains visible to the naked eye (barely) and very photogenic. Keen took this picture on March 25th:

"This is my favorite of several recent images," says Keen. "It's an Ansel Adams knock-off, using some of the master's techniques to bring the comet out of the moonlight."

He explains: "I Anselized the pictures by running them through a yellow filter (digitally, on the computer), just as Ansel Adams famously did to darken the sky and enhance the snow covered mountains. Since the dusty comet is also yellow, it really popped out with the yellow filtering. Then, convert the image to Black & White and play with the contrast a bit, and--voila! The comet jumps out of the moonlight!"

"After tonight those tricks won't be necessary because the full Moon will be leaving the evening sky."

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 30, 2013 there were 1390 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 FD8
Mar 27
8.4 LD
29 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
2.1 km
2000 FM10
Jun 5
50.3 LD
1.3 km
2002 KL3
Jun 6
66.4 LD
1.1 km
1999 WC2
Jun 12
39.2 LD
1.9 km
2006 RO36
Jun 18
70.9 LD
1.2 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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