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Solar wind
speed: 443.5 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
1836 UT May24
24-hr: M1
1836 UT May24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 May 14
Sunspots AR2071 and Ar2073 have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 112
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 24 May 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%)

24 May 2014

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 24 May 2014

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: 2.8 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 May 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: 05-24-2014 15:55:03
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2014 May 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
20 %
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: 2014 May 24 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
20 %
15 %
30 %
05 %
20 %
Saturday, May. 24, 2014
What's up in space

When is the best time to see auroras? Where is the best place to go? And how do you photograph them? These questions and more are answered in a new book, Northern Lights - a Guide, by Pal Brekke & Fredrik Broms.

Northern Lights - a Guide

QUIET SUN: Solar activity is low. Two sunspots (AR2071 and AR2073) have 'beta-gamma' magnetic fields that harbor energy for M-class solar flares, but both are stable. A quiet weekend seems likely. Aurora alerts: text, voice

MAY CAMELOPARDALID METEOR UPDATE: Note to sky watchers: That's not what a meteor storm looks like. Last night, as predicted, Earth passed through a stream of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR, and the encounter did produce a number of fine meteors. However, contrary to some forecasts, there was no intense outburst. Typical naked-eye meteor rates were no more than 5 or 10 per hour, a far cry from the "meteor storm" some headlines anticipated.

"Even though the meteor shower was less than spectacular, it was still nice to spend the night camping out under dark skies," says Kevin Palmer of Illinois. " I captured this fireball over the Green River State Wildlife Area at 2:24 am."

The modest display was hardly surprising. The parent comet, 209P/LINEAR, is faint and currently produces only a small amount of dust. Most forecasters acknowledged that there might be less debris in Earth's path than their models suggested.

It is worth noting, and perhaps marveling, that forecasters correctly predicted the onset of a never-before-seen meteor shower. They got the timing almost perfectly correct; only the rates were off. Such a prediction would have beeen impossible only 20 years ago before the development of physics-based dust stream models. In this respect, the May Camelopardalids were a success if not a spectacle.

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

MEANWHILE IN THE STRATOSPHERE: As seen from ground level, the May Camelopardalids were a bit of a dud. But what was the shower like in the stratosphere? To find out, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a helium balloon equipped with a low-light meteor camera. Here they are inflating the balloon and releasing it into the midnight sky above the Sierra Nevadas of central California:

The balloon's 3 hour flight coincided with the predicted peak of the shower. During that time the payload was floating above 99% of Earth's atmosphere for almost an hour. The student's camera had a front row seat for the meteor display, such as it was.

The next step is to recover the camera, which is not as easy as launching it. The payload and its digital cache of photos landed in a remote area of the Sierra Nevada backcountry. Tomorrow, a student recovery team will enter the Sierra National Forest tomorrow to retrieve the payload from a forested area near Paradise Peak. Stay tuned for updates.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Mars Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet 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 May. 24, 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 May 24, 2014 there were 1477 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1997 WS22
May 21
47.1 LD
1.5 km
2014 KO2
May 21
5.2 LD
10 m
2002 JC
May 24
48.7 LD
1.4 km
2014 HQ124
Jun 8
3.3 LD
660 m
2011 PU1
Jul 18
7.6 LD
43 m
2002 JN97
Aug 2
61.4 LD
2.0 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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