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Solar wind
speed: 373.3 km/sec
density: 2.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1909 UT Apr01
24-hr: B4
1909 UT Apr01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Apr 13
New sunspot AR1711 is large but, fo far, quiet. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 83
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Apr 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

01 Apr 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Apr 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 01 Apr 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on April 6-7. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Apr 01 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
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 Apr 01 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
30 %
10 %
25 %
Monday, Apr. 1, 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

SOLAR MAX HAS ARRIVED! April fools. Solar activity remains low despite the predicted arrrival of solar maximum in 2013. What's going on? This quiet spell might be the valley in a double-peaked Solar Max. If so, solar activity could surge later this year when the second peak kicks in. Meanwhile, the sun seems to be playing a practical joke on forecasters.

COMET-GALAXY ENCOUNTER: Comet Pan-STARRS is heading for the Andromeda Galaxy (aka M31). On the nights of April 2nd through 5th, the bright comet will pass so close to the pinwheel star system that they will be visible as a tight pair in the fields of view of wide-field telescopes and digital cameras. Amateur astronomer Pavel Smilyk of Syktyvkar, Russia, of the comet's approach on March 30th:

"This picture is a guided 2-minute exposure consisting of 12 frames from my Canon 5D Mark2 digital camera," says Smilyk.

At closest approach on April 3-4, the comet's dusty fan-shaped tail should "touch" the galaxy's outermost spiral arms. In fact, no physical contact will occur; the comet is still in the solar system while Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away. Deep-exposure astrophotography will, however, reveal an apparent overlap.

Both the comet and the galaxy are visible to the unaided eye as faint fuzzy patches in the western sky after sunset. To find them, scan the sky with binoculars or set your GOTO telescope to "Andromeda."

More about Pan-STARRS: NASA video, 3D orbit, ephemeris, light curves.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

BIG, QUIET SUNSPOT: Ten days ago, big sunspot AR1711 was on the farside of the sun hurling CMEs at Venus. Now it is rotating over the sun's southeastern limb where we can see it from Earth. Amateur astronomer Rogerio Marcon sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Campinas, Brasil:

To obtain the picture, Marcon used an 8-inch telescope and an H-alpha filter tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen. It shows the sunspot's dark core surrounded by a maelstrom of hot plasma. Despite its fiery appearance, however, the region is quiet. No strong flares have issued from AR1711 since it targeted Venus in March. NOAA forecasters estimate a slim 10% chance of M-class flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 April 1, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 FD8
Mar 27
8.4 LD
31 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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