Space Weather Observations, Alerts, and Forecast

Real Time Images of the Sun

Click for time-lapse image of the sun
SOHO EIT 284 Animated
SOHO EIT 284 image of the sun
Latest Mauna Loa image of the Sun

The sun is constantly monitored for sun spots and coronal mass ejections. EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstrom the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171 Angstrom, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin, 284 Angstrom to 2 million degrees. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.

Daily 24 Hour Solar Activity Summary
Issued: 2022 May 18 0030 UTC

Solar activity was low with background X-ray flux at C-class levels and eight sunspot groups present on the visible disk. New NOAA/SWPC Region 3018 (S12E54, Cro/beta) was assigned to a recently emerged, small group of spots that was largely inactive. Region 3007 (S23W48, Esi/beta) underwent decay and was mainly inactive. Region 3010 (S15E10, Cso/beta) continued to slowly decay and produced a C9.9 flare at 17/1145 UTC. Region 3014 (N22E31, Dac/beta-gamma) continued spot consolidation and growth, while the delta config split apart into separate penumbrae, however, mixed polarity spots developed in trailer section. Despite this instability, activity was mostly C-class enhancements and small flares. The remaining regions were mainly little changed. A CME was first clearly observed at 17/0548 UTC in SOHO/LASCO imagery from the east limb. The source is inconclusive, but may be related to a C6.2 flare from Region 3015 (N13E28, Hsx/alpha).

Solar Activity Forecast
Issued: 2022 May 18 0030 UTC

Low solar activity is expected to continue, with a chance for M-class flares (R1-R2; Minor-Moderate radio blackouts) and slight chance for X-class activity (R3; Strong) 18-20 May. Energetic

Real Time Solar X-ray and Solar Wind

Solar Cycle Progression
Graph showing current solar cycle progression
Solar Cycle chart updated using the latest ISES predictions.
Real-Time Solar Wind
Graph showing Real-Time Solar Wind
Real-Time Solar Wind data broadcast from NASA's ACE satellite.

The Solar Cycle is observed by counting the frequency and placement of sunspots visible on the Sun. Solar minimum occurred in December, 2008. Solar maximum is expected to occur in May, 2013.

Solar X-ray Flux
Graph showing Real-Time Solar X-ray Flux
This plot shows 3-days of 5-minute solar x-ray flux values measured on the SWPC primary and secondary GOES satellites.
Satellite Environment Plot
Graph showing Real-Time Satellite Environment Plot
The Satellite Environment Plot combines satellite and ground-based data to provide an overview of the current geosynchronous satellite environment.

Auroral Activity Extrapolated from NOAA POES

Northern Hemi Auroral Map
Current Northern hemispheric power input map
Southern Hemi Auroral Map
Current Southern hemispheric power input map

Instruments on board the NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) continually monitor the power flux carried by the protons and electrons that produce aurora in the atmosphere. SWPC has developed a technique that uses the power flux observations obtained during a single pass of the satellite over a polar region (which takes about 25 minutes) to estimate the total power deposited in an entire polar region by these auroral particles. The power input estimate is converted to an auroral activity index that ranges from 1 to 10.


Space Weather Images and Information (excluded from copyright) courtesy of: NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center, Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (HAO/NCAR), and SOHO (ESA & NASA).

Space Weather links:
3-Day Forecast of Solar and Geophysical Activity
Space Weather Now
Real-Time Solar Wind
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
The Very Latest SOHO Images