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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 320.3 km/sec
density: 8.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2342 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2050 UT Jan03
24-hr: C1
0120 UT Jan03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Jan. 10
Sunspot 1039 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 22
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Jan 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 0 days (0%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 771 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 02 Jan 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 78 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Jan 2010

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes in the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jan 03 2201 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: 2010 Jan 03 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
January 3, 2010

SATELLITE FLYBYS APP: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested satellite tracker! Spaceweather.com presents the Satellite Flybys app.

 

SHENZHOU 7: China's Shenzhou 7 spacecraft is about to reenter Earth's atmosphere, probably over a remote area of the Pacific Ocean: map. The nominal reentry time is 04:05:00 GMT +/- 6 Hours on Jan. 4th. On Sept. 25, 2008, Shenzhou 7 carried three taikonauts to Earth orbit. The taikonauts parachuted to Earth on Sept. 28, 2008, in a descent capsule, leaving the SZ-7 mothership in a decaying orbit. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker to see if you are favored with a final flyby.

DISINTEGRATING COMET: A bright comet discovered by NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft is swinging by the sun today and apparently disintegrating. Click on the image to set the scene in motion:


Latest movies: gif, mpeg-4, m4v

It will be interesting to see if a disembodied tail emerges from behind the coronagraph's occulting disk in the hours ahead.

This kamikaze comet is probably a member of the Kreutz sungrazer family. Named after a 19th century German astronomer who studied them in detail, Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a giant comet at least 2000 years ago. Several of these fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most are too small to see. Today's fragment is a big exception.

Credit: The comet was found on Jan. 2nd by Australian amateur astronomer Alan Watson, who was inspecting images obtained by STEREO-A's Heliospheric Imager on Dec. 30, 2009.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot 1039 has stopped growing, but it is still putting on a good show. The sunspot's dark cores are sitting inside a swirling, churning tangle of magnetic filaments, frozen here in a Jan. 3rd snapshot from Rogerio Marcon of Campinas, Brasil.

"This is a very photogenic sunspot," says Marcon.

The sunspot is approaching the sun's western limb, where it will disappear from view on Jan. 5th. readers with solar telescopes, catch it before it goes.

more images: from Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, California; from Steve Riegel of Santa Maria, CA


December Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Decembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2001, 2000]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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 January 3, 2010 there were 1091 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
16
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
17
1.1 km
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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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