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Solar wind
speed: 366.7 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2100 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C5
1705 UT May04
24-hr: C8
0052 UT May04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2100 UT
Daily Sun: 04 May 15
Sunspot AR2335 poses a growing threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 67
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 May 2015

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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 04 May 2015


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 04 May 2015

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.2 nT
Bz: 2.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2100 UT
Coronal Holes: 04 May 15

There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
Noctilucent Clouds The southern season for NLCs has come to an end. The last clouds were observed by NASA's AIM spacecraft on Feb. 20, 2015. Now attention shifts to the northern hemisphere, where the first clouds of 2015 should appear in mid-May.
Switch view: Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctic Penninsula, East Antarctica, Polar
Updated at: 02-28-2015 02:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2015 May 03 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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: 2015 May 03 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
25 %
SEVERE
10 %
20 %
 
Monday, May. 4, 2015
What's up in space
 

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STAR WARS DAY: "May the 4th be with you." Yes, May 4th is Star Wars Day. To celebrate, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus plan to launch a neutron sensor to the stratosphere. Successfully gathering neutron data today could set the stage for an even more interesting measurement later this week if, as predicted, a geomagnetic storm breaks out. Read more about the approaching storm, below:

EARTH-DIRECTED CME: A filament of magnetism straddling the sun's southern hemisphere erupted on May 2nd (not May 3rd as was previous reported) and hurled a CME into space. Modeling by NOAA analysts suggests that the CME will reach Earth on May 6th. For storm probabilities, scroll past this movie of the expanding cloud:

Forecasters estimate a 45% chance of geomagnetic storms when the CME arrives. Bright moonlight and summer twilight will probably overwhelm any auroras around the Arctic Circle. The Antarctic Circle is much darker. Stay tuned for Southern Lights. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

METEORS FROM HALLEY'S COMET: Earth is entering a diffuse stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. Over the weekend, NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras detected 8 eta Aquarid fireballs over the USA. This one was bright enough to see through the glare of the waxing full Moon:

The shower is expected to peak on May 5-6 when our planet passes through the heart of the debris stream. Unfortunately, not all of the eta Aquarids are fireballs. A typical meteor from Halley's Comet is about as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper--not so easy to see in the glaring moonlight.

Nevertheless, sky watchers could still see dozens of meteors. The best time to look is before before local sunrise on May 6th. Eta Aquarids are fast, moving at 66 km/s (148,000 mph), and often trace long bright paths across the sky. Set your alarm and enjoy the show.

Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery

THE NEPAL EARTHQUAKE AND SPACE WEATHER: High above Earth, more than 60 km above sea level, there is a layer of our planet's atmosphere called "the ionosphere." It is where UV radiation from the sun strips electrons away from the atoms of normal air, creating a zone of charged gas that envelopes the globe.

The ionosphere is very sensitive to solar storms. Turns out, it can be sensitive to earthquakes, too. NASA is reporting that the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on April 25th created waves of energy that penetrated the ionosphere and disturbed the distribution of electrons. Note the wave pattern, circled, in the upper panel of this ionospheric electron density plot:

Basically, these are waves of electron density rippling from a point in the ionosphere above the epicenter of the quake. The waves were measured by a science-quality GPS receiver in Lhasa, Tibet. It took about 21 minutes for the waves to travel 400 miles between the epicenter and the GPS receiving station.

The bottom panel of the plot is a "dynamic spectrum." Note the hot spots outlined in black. They show that the ionosphere was ringing with periods of ~2 and ~8 minutes. Presumably, these "tones" are related to atmospheric pressure waves billowing up from the trembling Earth below.

The ionosphere is the stage upon which much of space weather plays out. Auroras, meteors, and noctilucent clouds all occur there. The "Ionosphere Natural Hazards Team" at JPL studies how Earth itself affects this stage via earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. You can read their report about the Nepal earthquake here.

Realtime Space Weather 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 Spaceweather.com.

On May. 4, 2015, the network reported 12 fireballs.
(8 sporadics, 4 eta Aquariids)

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 4, 2015 there were 1575 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2015 HS11
May 1
7.1 LD
16 m
2015 HQ171
May 2
1.2 LD
18 m
2015 HL171
May 2
8.8 LD
60 m
5381 Sekhmet
May 17
62.8 LD
2.1 km
2015 HT9
May 25
12.2 LD
24 m
2005 XL80
Jun 4
38.1 LD
1.0 km
2012 XB112
Jun 11
10.1 LD
2 m
2015 HM10
Jul 7
1.4 LD
65 m
2005 VN5
Jul 7
12.6 LD
18 m
1994 AW1
Jul 15
25.3 LD
1.4 km
2011 UW158
Jul 19
6.4 LD
565 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.
  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
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
 
 
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