You are viewing the page for Jul. 3, 2014
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids Internet Shopping Sites high quality binoculars excellent weather stations all-metal reflector telescopes rotatable microscopes
Solar wind
speed: 334.9 km/sec
density: 3.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1628 UT Jul03
24-hr: C2
0359 UT Jul03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Jul 14
Sunspot AR2104 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. . Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 180
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Jul 2014

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2014 total: 0 days (0%)
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%)

03 Jul 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 169 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Jul 2014

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz: 2.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Jul 14
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA. posts 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: 07-03-2014 13:55:05
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 Jul 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
60 %
60 %
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: 2014 Jul 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
Thursday, Jul. 3, 2014
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class solar flares today. The likely source would be big sunspot AR2104, which has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for strong eruptions. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

MORE SUNSPOTS: The sunspot number, already high, ticked upward again today with the arrival of another large active region over the sun's eastern limb. Click to play a 24-hour movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory--and keep an eye on "AR2109":

The explosive potential of this new sunspot is unknown. It will come into sharper focus later today and tomorrow as the region turns more directly toward Earth, revealing whether or not AR2109 has the kind of unstable magnetic field that leads to strong flares. For now, solar activty remains low despite the increasing sunspot count. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

CARBON OBSERVATORY LAUNCHED: Yesterday morning at 2:56 AM PDT, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) blasted into space from the Vandenberg AFB in California. After liftoff, the exhaust from the satellite's Delta II rocket glowed so brightly that Juan Perez was able to see it 500 miles away in Wittmann, Arizona:

Now orbiting Earth, OCO-2 is set to begin a two-plus year mission to locate the sources and sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. The launch was from the west coast so the spacecraft could enter a polar orbit of the Earth, a flight path that will see it cross over the Arctic and Antarctic regions during each revolution and get a complete picture of the Earth. It will fly about 438 miles above the planet's surface to take its readings. While ground stations have been monitoring carbon dioxide concentrations for years, OCO-2 will be the first spacecraft to conduct a global-scale reading over several seasons. For more views of the launch, browse the realtime photo gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

ELECTRIC-BLUE SUNRISE: For people in the northern hemisphere, July is the best time of the year to see noctilucent clouds (NLCs). The month got off to a good start on July 1st when the sunrise over Radebeul, Germany turned electric-blue:

"This morning was extremely electric blue over Saxony," says photograher Heiko Ulbricht. "What a great display of noctilucent clouds! I spent much of the night watching the World Cup with friends. At about 2 o'clock in the morning, we drove to a field in Radebeul near the Astronomical Observatory. When the sun came up we were rewarded--a great morning! "

NLCs are Earth's highest clouds. Seeded by "meteor smoke," they form at the edge of space 83 km above Earth's surface. When sunlight hits the tiny ice crystals that make up these clouds, they glow electric blue.

NLCs appear during summer because that is when water molecules are wafted up from the lower atmosphere to mix with the meteor smoke. That is also, ironically, when the upper atmosphere is coldest, allowing the ice crystals of NLCs to form.

The natural habitat of noctilucent clouds is the Arctic Circle. In recent years, however, they have spread to lower latitudes with sightings as far south as Utah and Colorado. This will likely happen in 2014 as well. Observing tips: Look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you may have spotted a noctilucent cloud.

Realtime NLC Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 Jul. 3, 2014, the network reported 14 fireballs.
( 14 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 July 3, 2014 there were 1486 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2014 MV18
Jun 30
7.2 LD
80 m
2014 MJ26
Jul 2
9.7 LD
47 m
2013 AG69
Jul 8
2.7 LD
15 m
2014 MF6
Jul 9
9.1 LD
310 m
2011 PU1
Jul 17
7.9 LD
43 m
2002 JN97
Aug 2
61.4 LD
2.0 km
2001 RZ11
Aug 17
34.2 LD
2.2 km
2013 WT67
Aug 17
16.1 LD
1.1 km
2013 RZ53
Sep 9
1.9 LD
3 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...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2019 All rights reserved.