Web display for Real-Time Solar Wind (RTSW) data. Real-Time Solar Wind data refers to data from any spacecraft located upwind of Earth, typically orbiting the L1 Lagrange point, that is being tracked by the Real-Time Solar Wind Network of tracking stations. The NOAA DSCOVR satellite became the operational RTSW spacecraft on July 27, 2016 at 1600UT (noon EDT, 10am MDT).
SWPC maintains the ability to instantaneously switch the spacecraft that provides the RTSW data. During times of outages in DSCOVR data or problems with the data, this page may instead display the data from the NASA/ACE spacecraft.
Ground station tracking status for the DSCOVR satellite is available here.
Tabs along the bottom of the plot allow different default plots to be chosen. From data ranges of 2 hours up to 7 days and displays with only Magnetometer, only Solar Wind Plasma, or a combination of both as well as other features described below.
New features have been added to enhance viewing of the RTSW data:
- Display of data values: When mousing over the data (or 'tapping' with a mobile device) , data values are displayed within the graph.
- Zoom: Zoom by click and holding on the start (end) of the interval and then moving the mouse to the end (start) of the interval before releasing the mouse click (on mobile devices use 'pinch-zoom') . This defines the zoom area. The thin bar at the bottom shows the zoom area relative to the default full range of data. Double click (tap) zooms out to the default interval.
- Buttons (in a row below the data plots)
- 'Time' ['2 hours', '6 hours', '1 day', '3 days', '7 days']: Selects the display default duration. All plots automatically update adding new data on the right and dropping data on the left as it ages off.
- Series: Allows the user to display only the magnetic field data, only the solar wind plasma data, or a combination of both. One can also enter specific plot start and end times. They must be within current default duration as specified by the left most button. Also, the brackets indicate that hh:mm:ss is optional. Do not include the brackets when entering a time.
- Save as text: Will download an ascii text file (named rtsw_plot_data.txt) containing the data shown in the current display.
- Save as Image: Will download a .PNG image (named plot_image.png) of the current display. The data values displayed will default to the most recently available data.
- Options: Allows the user to choose between 'white' or 'black' as the plot background color. Also allows the user to connect the points with a 'Line', to just plot the points 'Marker', or use a hybrid approach.
Plotted on this page are data from the 'active' real-time solar wind spacecraft. Since July 27, 2016 NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR (link is external)) has been the operational spacecraft. Only magnetometer and solar wind thermal plasma data are displayed.
The two DSCOVR instruments for which data are available:
- Faraday Cup (FC) of the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory(link is external)
- Magnetometer (MAG) of the University of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (link is external)
Future upgrades to this page will enable access to higher time resolution data provided by DSCOVR as well as to historical data.
An inverse chronological list of Real-Time Solar Wind Announcements
October 27, 2016 17:26 UT
A change was made to the Faraday Cup processing to remove some of the noise that was resulting in higher than expected densities and temperature. The change ignores high energy noise that was resulting in wider than expected velocity distributions.
July 27, 2016
NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) became the operational RTSW spacecraft. It replaced the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft, which has been in use since 1998.
Real-time Solar Wind and Magnetometer data is now available in JSON format for up to the past 7 days from the SWPC Data Service. These JSON files will automatically include the data from the active RTSW spacecraft. By default, that has been DSCOVR since July 27 at 1600 UT.
A complete DSCOVR data archive is available at the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information.
Anyone with questions about these data, the DSCOVR spacecraft, or tracking of DSCOVR should contact Douglas Biesecker (link sends e-mail).