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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 451.2 km/sec
density: 4.71 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1146 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1930 UT Jan31
24-hr: C4
1100 UT Jan31
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2350 UT
Daily Sun: 31 Jan 23
Expand: labels | no labels
None of these small sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 67
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Jan 2023

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2023 total: 0 days (0%)
2022 total: 1 day (<1%)
2021 total: 64 days (18%)
2020 total: 208 days (57%)
2019 total: 281 days (77%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
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%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 31 Jan 2023


Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 18.72
x1010 W Warm
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data: gfx, txt
Updated 31 Jan 2023

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 136 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Jan 2023

Cosmic Rays Solar Cycle 25 is beginning, and this is reflected in the number of cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere. Neutron counts from the University of Oulu's Sodankyla Geophysical Observatory show that cosmic rays reaching Earth are slowly declining--a result of the yin-yang relationship between the solar cycle and cosmic rays.

Oulu Neutron Counts

Percentages of the Space Age average:
today: +1.4% Elevated
48-hr change: +0.9%
Max: +11.7% Very High
(12/2009)
Min: -32.1% Very Low (06/1991)
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Jan 2023 @ 1700 UT

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2.33 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3.33
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.23 nT
Bz: -0.98 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 1146 UT
Coronal Holes: 31 Jan 23

There are no significant coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun.
Credit: SDO/AIA

Noctilucent Clouds
The southern hemisphere season for noctilucent clouds has begun. NASA's AIM spacecraft detected the first electric-blue puffs over Antarctica on Dec. 1st.
Switch view:Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated Jan31
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2023 Jan 31 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
15 %
CLASS X
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: 2023 Jan 31 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
30 %
25 %
SEVERE
40 %
25 %
 
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023
What's up in space
       
 

Never miss another geomagnetic storm. Sign up for Space Weather Alerts and you'll receive a text message when magnetic storms erupt. Aurora tour guides and professional astronomers use this service. You can, too!

 

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE STRATOSPHERE? Around the North Pole, the stratosphere has suddenly become very, very cold. NASA satellites are registering temperatures less than -85 C, the threshold for formation of rare polar stratospheric clouds (PSC). In the past few days, colorful PSCs have spilled outside the Arctic Circle, spreading as far south as Scotland. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for these clouds as the outbreak continues.

COMET 96P AT PERIHELION: Today, Comet 96P/Machholz is at perihelion, its closest approach to the sun. Play this movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) to see the comet's rapid brightening as it gets blasted by solar heat:

Comet 96P is only 0.12 AU from the sun. For comparison, Mercury is more than 3 times farther away. That means the comet is *hot*. However, heat is not the only reason the comet has brightened so much. Because 96P is almost directly between Earth and the sun, its can experience a phenomenon called "forward scattering." Ice and dust in the comet's tail scatters sunlight toward the Earth, boosting its brightness to a current value near magnitude +0.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter

LUNAR OCCULTATION OF MARS: Last night the gibbous Moon passed directly in front of Mars, producing a lunar occultation visible from southern parts of the USA and all of central America. Pete Lardizabal photographed the event from St Johns, Florida:

"Mars disappeared behind the dark edge of the Moon then popped out again on the daylit side," says Lardizabal. "Everything happened so fast; before I knew it the Moon had overtaken Mars and I had to hurry to take these pictures."

The next good lunar occultation of Mars isn't until Jan. 13, 2025.

Until then, here are some more images: from Eliot Herman of Tucson AZ; from Dr. Gilbert Plumer of Rockledge, Florida; from Bob Beal of St. George, Utah; from John Ashley of Rio Rico, Arizona; from Andres Paez Joannis of Chihuahua, Chih. Mexico; from John Vertson of Clovis, CA

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter

HOWLING WOLF HEART PENDANT: It's the perfect Valentine's gift for a Nature lover. On Jan. 6, 2023, this Howling Wolf Heart Pendant flew to the stratosphere onboard an Earth to Sky cosmic ray research balloon, floating more than 105,546 ft above the snow-capped Sierras of central California:

You can have it for $99.95. The hypoallergenic heart-shaped pendant features a loving pair of howling Arctic wolves, a shooting star, the full Moon, and sheets of aurora borealis. It comes with a greeting card showing the pendent in flight and telling the story of its trip to the edge of space and back again.

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
Free:
Spaceweather.com Newsletter

  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 Spaceweather.com.

On Jan 31 2023, the network reported 13 fireballs.
(13 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 January 31, 2023 there were 2326 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2023 BL2
2023-Jan-26
1 LD
10.5
6
2020 BZ14
2023-Jan-26
8.9 LD
6.7
54
2023 BH5
2023-Jan-26
7.2 LD
7.5
14
2023 BH7
2023-Jan-26
6.3 LD
7.6
23
2023 BU
2023-Jan-27
0 LD
9.3
5
2023 BZ3
2023-Jan-27
0.7 LD
6.8
5
2023 BT3
2023-Jan-27
1.5 LD
9.6
4
2023 BN5
2023-Jan-27
3.4 LD
6.5
12
2023 BG6
2023-Jan-27
11.5 LD
4.2
11
2023 BC
2023-Jan-28
7.4 LD
12.8
37
2023 BG7
2023-Jan-28
1.1 LD
18.1
10
2023 BE7
2023-Jan-28
2.1 LD
14.7
17
2023 BL4
2023-Jan-29
11.1 LD
7.8
21
2023 BM5
2023-Jan-29
2 LD
15.5
13
2022 SO113
2023-Jan-29
10.5 LD
3.5
73
2023 BK4
2023-Jan-29
7.3 LD
8.2
18
2023 BV5
2023-Jan-30
6.6 LD
3.2
10
2023 BJ7
2023-Jan-30
1 LD
8
6
2023 BA3
2023-Jan-30
3.4 LD
8.8
19
2023 AS1
2023-Jan-31
11.8 LD
6.2
24
2023 BA4
2023-Jan-31
17.7 LD
7.9
42
2023 BQ2
2023-Jan-31
5.7 LD
13.9
17
2023 BP6
2023-Feb-01
6.8 LD
9.7
63
2017 DU34
2023-Feb-02
13.3 LD
11.2
16
2023 BY4
2023-Feb-02
12.9 LD
10.8
41
2023 BP5
2023-Feb-02
4.4 LD
6.2
13
2023 BB8
2023-Feb-02
15.6 LD
11.2
31
2023 BH6
2023-Feb-02
5.8 LD
9.7
8
2023 BX7
2023-Feb-02
4.2 LD
13.5
35
2023 BR5
2023-Feb-03
10.9 LD
7.9
11
367789
2023-Feb-03
4.7 LD
9.9
149
2023 BN6
2023-Feb-04
2 LD
7.5
35
2020 OO1
2023-Feb-04
4.8 LD
7.7
19
2023 BO7
2023-Feb-04
14.3 LD
5.1
13
2023 BZ7
2023-Feb-04
12.1 LD
9.3
22
2023 BC4
2023-Feb-04
16.2 LD
11.6
52
2023 BG4
2023-Feb-05
17.2 LD
10.4
32
2023 BT1
2023-Feb-06
16.8 LD
8.8
29
2022 YO6
2023-Feb-06
12.1 LD
13.4
166
2023 BU7
2023-Feb-08
1.3 LD
1.7
3
2023 BS
2023-Feb-08
19.4 LD
10.9
35
2022 CX1
2023-Feb-09
17.4 LD
13.2
14
2023 BC8
2023-Feb-11
15.4 LD
14
53
2021 EP4
2023-Feb-13
19 LD
6.1
5
199145
2023-Feb-16
12 LD
24.6
756
2022 RG
2023-Feb-16
8.2 LD
3
24
2020 DG4
2023-Feb-17
1.4 LD
6.9
8
2020 CX1
2023-Feb-19
17.4 LD
7.7
53
37638
2023-Feb-21
17 LD
11.1
495
2023 AA2
2023-Feb-22
17.4 LD
10.1
132
2012 DK31
2023-Feb-27
12.6 LD
15.5
148
2006 BE55
2023-Feb-28
9.4 LD
13.3
148
2021 QW
2023-Mar-03
13.9 LD
12.1
79
2017 BM123
2023-Mar-03
12.1 LD
7.8
62
2007 ED125
2023-Mar-03
11.7 LD
13.1
224
2015 EG
2023-Mar-04
13.9 LD
10.6
27
2023 BK5
2023-Mar-05
17.9 LD
8.5
59
535844
2023-Mar-07
10.5 LD
7.7
150
2020 FQ
2023-Mar-09
14 LD
6.3
13
2020 FV4
2023-Mar-13
17.6 LD
8.2
30
2018 UQ1
2023-Mar-17
10.7 LD
11.7
143
2016 WH
2023-Mar-19
18.1 LD
11.8
14
2018 FE3
2023-Mar-21
10.1 LD
5.4
13
2022 YK4
2023-Mar-29
11.9 LD
2.3
25
2017 SE12
2023-Mar-30
5.2 LD
8.4
15
2016 GH1
2023-Mar-30
7.7 LD
5.8
11
Notes: LD means "Lunar Distance." 1 LD = 384,401 km, the distance between Earth and the Moon. 1 LD also equals 0.00256 AU.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Almost once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with sensors that detect secondary cosmic rays, a form of radiation from space that can penetrate all the way down to Earth's surface. Our monitoring program has been underway without interruption for 7 years, resulting in a unique dataset of in situ atmospheric measurements.

Latest results (July 2022): Atmospheric radiation is decreasing in 2022. Our latest measurements in July 2022 registered a 6-year low:

What's going on? Ironically, the radiation drop is caused by increasing solar activity. Solar Cycle 25 has roared to life faster than forecasters expected. The sun's strengthening and increasingly tangled magnetic field repels cosmic rays from deep space. In addition, solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays, causing sharp reductions called "Forbush Decreases." The two effects blend together to bring daily radiation levels down.

.Who cares? Cosmic rays are a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. They can alter the chemistry of the atmosphere, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. According to a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan school of public health, crews of aircraft have higher rates of cancer than the general population. The researchers listed cosmic rays, irregular sleep habits, and chemical contaminants as leading risk factors. A number of controversial studies (#1, #2, #3, #4) go even further, linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

Technical notes: The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Data points in the graph labeled "Stratospheric Radiation" correspond to the peak of the Regener-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Regener and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

  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.
STEREO
  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.
SolarMonitor.org
  information about sunspots based on the latest NOAA/USAF Active Region Summary
Starlink Satellite Statistics
  current counts of failed and deployed Starlink satellites from Jonathan's Space Page
The Aerospace Corporation
  Authoritative predictions of space junk and satellite re-entries
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Live Aurora Webcam
  from Lights over Lapland
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather

To get the best views of the cosmos, check out the Phoenix Window Glass Replacement experts for all your window and glass needs

To get an up close view of the heavenly bodies surrounding Earth, think about selling your junk car for cash and buying a high quality telescope.
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NASA Near Earth Asteroid Home Page

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