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Solar Astronomy

Current Solar ImagesCurrent Solar Images from the Solar Data Analysis Center at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Updated daily.

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The very latest SOHO images

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X-ray flare and Geomagnetic storm monitor


Solar X-rays: 

Geomagnetic Field: 


About the Solar X-Ray Status Monitor

(Definition:  The reference, "1.00e-6 W/m^2" means "1 times 10 raised to the -6th power watts per square meter," or one microwatt per square meter of intensity.)

Normal:  Solar X-ray flux is quiet (< 1.00e-6 W/m^2)
Active:  Solar X-ray flux is active (>= 1.00e-6 W/m^2)
M‑Class Flare M-Class Flare:  An M Class flare has occurred (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-5 W/m^2)
X-Class Flare X-Class Flare:  An X Class flare has occurred (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-4 W/m^2)
MEGA FLARE! Mega Flare:  An unprecedented X-ray event has occurred (X-ray flux >= 1.00e-3 W/m^2)
The designation "Mega Flare" was chosen by Kevin Loch when the status monitor was created on March 4, 1999. There is no "official" designation for flares in this range.

About the Geomagnetic Field Status Monitor

The Geomagnetic Field status monitor downloads data periodically from the NOAA Space Environment Center FTP server. The previous 24 hours of 3 hour Planetary Kp Index data is analyzed and an appropriate level of activity for the past 24 hours is assigned as follows:

(Definition:  Kp refers to Kp INDEX. A 3-hourly planetary geomagnetic index of activity generated in Gottingen, Germany, based on the K INDEX from 12 or 13 stations distributed around the world  from

QuietQuiet: the Geomagnetic Field is quiet (Kp < 4)
UnsettledUnsettled: the Geomagnetic Field has been unsettled (Kp=4)
STORM!Storm: A Geomagnetic Storm has occurred (Kp>4)

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