Solar wind
speed: 396.2 km/sec
density: 21.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1613 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1348 UT Jul28
24-hr: B1
1348 UT Jul28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1600 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Jul 16
The sun is blank again--no sunspots. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Jul 2016

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 3 days
2016 total: 18 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%)

Updated 28 Jul 2016


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 72 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Jul 2016

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.3 nT
Bz: 5.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1613 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Jul 16

Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth as early as July 29-30. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds Images from NASA's AIM spacecraft are once again appearing on Spaceweather.com. Check back daily for space-based sightings of noctilucent clouds.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 07-24-2016 15:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2016 Jul 27 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
CLASS X
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: 2016 Jul 27 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
30 %
30 %
SEVERE
40 %
30 %
 
Thursday, Jul. 28, 2016
What's up in space
       
 

It's waiting for you: The most successful Aurora Photo Tour on Earth! 100% success rate 4 years in a row and winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Join LapplandMedia's aurora tours in Abisko, Swedish Lapland!

 

CHINESE ROCKET BURNS UP OVER NORTH AMERICA: The body of China's experimental Long March 7 rocket re-entered Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday night, July 27th, creating a bright fireball over the western USA. The glowing trail was spotted in Utah, Nevada and much of California. The Long March 7 blasted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on June 25, 2016, to test a number of new technologies essential to China's developing space program. [photos]

THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER IS BEGINNING: Earth is entering a broad stream of debris from comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. NASA cameras detected the first Perseid fireballs of 2016 on July 26th.  This one, photographed over Mt. Lemmon Observatory in Arizona, was easily visible through the glare of a waning quarter moon:


Forecasters expect the shower to peak on August 11-13 with as many as 200 Perseids per hour.  For now, we are in the outskirts of the debris stream and rates are still low--no more than a handful per hour. This will change as July turns into August and peak night approaches. The 2016 Perseids are going to be great. Stay tuned for observing tips and more information. Meteor alerts: text or voice

THE SUN IS BLANK AGAIN: The sunspot number is zero again following the departure of sunspot complex AR2565-AR2567 on Monday.  Today's photo from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a solar disk that is completely blank:

Blank suns are a sign that Solar Maximum is over and Solar Minimum is coming--a natural transition of the 11-year sunspot cycle. Contrary to popular belief, however, Solar Minimum is not boring.  It brings a time of enhanced cosmic rays, extra sprites and elves, a collapsing ionosphere and accumulating space junk. With action like that, who needs solar flares?

It's worth noting that Solar Minimum isn't here yet. Indeed, only one half of the sun is blank. Sunspot complex AR2565-AR2567 still exists on the farside of the sun, and it could return ~12 days from now when the sun's rotation spins those dark cores back around in our direction. Until then, stay tuned for blank suns. Solar flare alerts: text or voice

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

WHERE NO DUCK HAS GONE BEFORE: Yes, that really is a Vulcan rubber duck! The students of Earth to Sky Calculus flew the pointy-eared water bird to the stratosphere on July 19, 2016, as part of their ongoing program to monitor cosmic rays in the stratosphere. Here he is at the apex of the flight, 109,580 ft:

"Mr Squawk" hitchhiked on a helium balloon payload that carried an array of X-ray/gamma-ray sensors. By launching these sensors 3 or 4 times a month, the students have shown that cosmic rays are intensifying--a trend that affects mountain climbers, air travelers, high-altitude drones and astronauts on the International Space Station.

This research is crowd funded. Would you like to support it? Buy a duck! Edge of Space Vulcan Ducks are now available in the Earth to Sky Store.


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery


Realtime Sprite 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 Spaceweather.com.

On Jul. 28, 2016, the network reported 190 fireballs.
(179 sporadics, 3 Perseids, 3 Southern delta Aquariids, 3 alpha Capricornids, 2)

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 July 28, 2016 there were 1713 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2016 NS
Jul 20
8.7 LD
34 m
2002 KL6
Jul 22
26.6 LD
1.4 km
2016 NJ39
Jul 22
11.5 LD
39 m
2011 BX18
Jul 25
52.7 LD
1.1 km
2016 NW15
Jul 26
13.7 LD
35 m
2016 NE39
Jul 26
6.7 LD
88 m
2016 NX22
Aug 2
12.9 LD
86 m
2005 OH3
Aug 3
5.8 LD
28 m
2000 DP107
Aug 12
66.5 LD
1.0 km
2004 BO41
Sep 7
38.9 LD
1.1 km
2015 KE
Sep 10
14.9 LD
23 m
2009 UG
Sep 30
7.3 LD
101 m
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere
Situation Report -- Oct. 30, 2015 Stratospheric Radiation (+37o N)
Cosmic ray levels are elevated (+6.1% above the Space Age median). The trend is flat. Cosmic ray levels have increased +0% in the past month.
Sept. 06: 4.14 uSv/hr (414 uRad/hr)
Sept. 12: 4.09 uSv/hr (409 uRad/hr)
Sept. 23: 4.12 uSv/hr (412 uRad/hr)
Sept. 25: 4.16 uSv/hr (416 uRad/hr)
Sept. 27: 4.13 uSv/hr (413 uRad/hr)
Oct. 11: 4.02 uSv/hr (402 uRad/hr)
Oct. 22: 4.11 uSv/hr (411 uRad/hr)
These measurements are based on regular space weather balloon flights: learn more.

Approximately 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 radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Our measurements show that someone flying back and forth across the continental USA, just once, can absorb as much ionizing radiation as 2 to 5 dental X-rays. For example, here is the data from a flight on Oct. 22, 2015:

Radiation levels peak at the entrance to the stratosphere in a broad region called the "Pfotzer Maximum." This peak is named after physicist George Pfotzer who discovered it using balloons and Geiger tubes in the 1930s. Radiation levels there are more than 80x sea level.

Note that the bottom of the Pfotzer Maximim is near 55,000 ft. This means that some high-flying aircraft are not far from the zone of maximum radiation. Indeed, according to the Oct 22th measurements, a plane flying at 45,000 feet is exposed to 2.79 uSv/hr. At that rate, a passenger would absorb about one dental X-ray's worth of radiation in about 5 hours.

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.

  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.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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