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Solar wind
speed: 295.8 km/sec
density: 5.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M2
1748 UT Apr05
24-hr: M2
1748 UT Apr05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Apr 13
Sunspot AR1713 is experiencing a growth spurt, but it is not yet producing significant flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 119
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 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

05 Apr 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 129 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 Apr 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: 5.8 nT
Bz: 2.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 05 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 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
30 %
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 05 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
20 %
20 %
15 %
20 %
Friday, Apr. 5, 2013
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

WEEKEND AURORAS? A solar wind stream is expected to brush against Earth's magnetic field on April 6-7, possibly causing geomagnetic disturbances around the poles. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras beaming through the waxing twilight of northern spring. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

INCOMING ACTIVE REGION: An active region on the farside of the sun is about to rotate onto the Earthside of the sun. It announced itself on April 5th around 0700 UT with a C2-class solar flare that hurled material over the sun's eastern limb. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme UV glow of the blast:

Quickly following that eruption came another even stronger one: An M2-class flare (image) at 1750 UT.

Clearly, this incoming region has the potential to stir up significant space weather. It may be a few days, however, before it becomes geoeffective. Stay tuned for updates as the blast site turns toward Earth. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

OMG: On April 4th, in the western sky at sunset, Comet Pan-STARRS made a photogenic flyby of the Andromeda galaxy. Amateur astronomer Pavel Smilyk of Syktyvkar, Russia, photographed the pair at the hour of closest approach:

"This is a 27 x 2 minute guided exposure I made using a Canon 1100Da digital camera," says Smilyk. "We had very clear skies."

In this deep exposure, the comet's dusty tail appears to touch the galaxy's outermost spiral arms. In fact, no physical contact occured; the comet is still in the solar system while Andromeda is 2.5 million light years away.

The comet and galaxy are parting now, but slowly, so they will remain a close pair for cameras and wide-field telescopes for several nights to come. Browse the gallery for more close-up images of the ongoing conjunction.

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

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

VENUS AND MARS CONVERGE: Venus and Mars are converging for a close encounter, but don't bother looking because the conjunction is happening in broad daylight. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) took this picture of the planets only a few degrees from the Sun on April 5th:

At closest approach on April 6th, Venus and Mars will be only 1o apart.

After that, Mars will move even closer to the sun, which could limit NASA's contact with Mars rovers and orbiters. According to a NASA press release, "The sun can easily disrupt radio transmissions during the near-alignment. To prevent an impaired command from reaching an orbiter or rover, mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are preparing to suspend sending any commands to spacecraft at Mars for weeks in April. Transmissions from Mars to Earth will also be reduced." Mars will be at its closest to the sun, a slim 0.4 degrees on April 17th.

The ongoing dance of the sun and planets is invisible to the human eye, but coronagraphs can see the show. Join SOHO for a ringside seat.

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 5, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
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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