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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 320.5 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2139 UT Jan05
24-hr: M1
0931 UT Jan05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Jan 13
Sunspots are popping up all over the solar disk. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 167
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Jan 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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

05 Jan 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 143 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 Jan 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: 4.6 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 05 Jan 13
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 8-9. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Jan 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
05 %
05 %
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 Jan 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
10 %
20 %
05 %
15 %
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
What's up in space

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

Meteorite jewelry

INCREASING CHANCE OF FLARES: The sun is peppered with spots: There are now more than a dozen numbered active regions scattered around the solar disk. As the sunspot count increases so does the chance of flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of M-class eruptions and a 5% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

To illustrate the growing spottiness of the sun, each active region in this Jan. 5th image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is circled:

The most active sunspot so far is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb. On Jan. 5th at 09:34 UT, the unnumbered region unleashed an M1.7-class eruption that sent a wave of ionization rippling through the upper atmosphere over Europe. The flare was too brief, however, to produce a significant CME. SDO recorded a movie of the explosion's extreme ultraviolet flash:

More flares appear to be in the offing; stay tuned.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

TWO METEOR SHOWERS IN PROGRESS: The annual Quadrantid meteor shower, caused by debris from shattered comet 2003 EH1, peaked on Jan. 3rd and should be finished--but maybe not. "The Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) is still seeing strong Quadrantid activity," reports Prof. Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario. "The overnight results have just been processed, and here is a skychart plot showing radiant activity as it appeared around 5 am EST on the morning of Jan. 4th."

"Notice also the relatively strong shower coming right out of the head of Leo," points out Brown. "This is the fast (54 km/s) January Leonids (JLE), first detected a few years ago by CMOR, but usually overlooked as it peaks the same day as the Quadrantids."

"The January Leonid shower is unusual in that it is quite strong (10 meteors per hour) and has an orbit which gets very close to the Sun (perihelion about 0.05 AU). In fact, it has the smallest perihelion of any major shower detected by CMOR. It also has a nearly unbound orbit and is almost certainly associated with an as yet unidentified sungrazing comet. Very little is known about the stream - optical observations would be most helpful, particularly to define the orbit at larger meteoroid sizes. The shower remains active as seen by CMOR until Jan 7."

Realtime Meteor 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 January 5, 2013 there were 1364 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 XP55
Dec 27
9.2 LD
72 m
1999 HA2
Feb 5
58 LD
1.3 km
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
57 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 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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