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Solar wind
speed: 349.6 km/sec
density: 1.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2130 UT Apr06
24-hr: C1
2130 UT Apr06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Apr 13
New sunspot AR1719 poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 146
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 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

06 Apr 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 134 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 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: 3.8 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Apr 13
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on April 6-7. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Apr 06 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 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
30 %
30 %
30 %
30 %
Saturday, Apr. 6, 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

WEEKEND AURORAS: A weak solar wind stream is brushing against Earth's magnetic field this weekend. In response to the encounter, NOAA forecasters put the odds of a polar geomagnetic storm on April 6-7 at 15%-20%. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Although the solar wind disturbance is mild, it is nevertheless igniting auroras around the Arctic Circle. Rune Engebø sends this picture from Nupen, Troms, Norway:

The auroras were bright enough to see through the growing twilight of polar Spring. "Comet Pan-STARRS was visible, too," says Engebø. "Can you find it?"

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of M-class solar flares today. The likely source would be new sunspot AR1719, now rotating over the sun's eastern limb. The sunspot announced itself on April 5th with an M2-class eruption recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

On the Richter Scale of Solar Flares, an M2-category blast is not considered especially intense. Nevertheless, this was one of the biggest flares of the year so far. The reason it stands out is that solar activity in 2013 has been unexpectedly low.

More M-flares are in the offing, but they will not be Earth-directed until AR1719 turns more squarely toward our planet. Geoeffective solar activity could begin early next week. 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

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 April 6, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
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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