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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 422.0 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1740 UT Jan07
24-hr: C2
0009 UT Jan07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Jan 12
Sunspots 1390 and 1392 are crackling with low-level C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 118
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Jan 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 06 Jan 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 136 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Jan 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.7 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 07 Jan 12
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 13-14. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jan 07 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: 2012 Jan 07 2200 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
15 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

FARSIDE BLAST: A magnetic active region behind the sun's eastern limb erupted during the late hours of Jan. 6th. SOHO recorded the flying debris. In a few days the blast site will rotate onto the Earthside of the sun for closer inspection. Stay tuned.

INCOMING CME? A magnetic filament in the sun's northern hemisphere erupted on Jan. 5th and hurled a CME in the general direction of Earth. At first it appeared that the cloud would sail north of Earth and completely miss our planet. Subsequent work by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab suggests a different outcome: the CME might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 7th. Click to view an animated forecast track:

NOAA forecasters are estimating a 20% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Jan 7-8 when the CME is expected to arrive. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Storm alerts: text, voice.

BE ALERT FOR MOON HALOES: Across much of the United States, there's not much snow on the ground. There is, however, ice in the air. You can see it around the Moon:

"There was a remarkable halo around the Moon this Friday evening," says photographer Dan Bush of Albany, Missouri. "It was the most vivid and long lasting one I've seen in 15+ years."

Moon haloes are caused by ice crystals in cirrus clouds 5 to 10 km above the ground. Crystals catch the light of the Moon and bend its rays into a luminous ring, as shown above. With the full Moon only two days away, now is a good time to be alert for Moon haloes.

more images: from Francesc Pruneda of Palamós, Catalonia, Spain; from Chris Hetlage of Deerlick Astronomy Village, GA; from Eddie Ledbetter of Register, GA; from Tanner Schaaf of Kingston, Minnesota; from Jim Tegerdine of Marysville, Washington; from Guy of Masset, B.C., Canada;


New: Comet Lovejoy Gallery
[previous comets: McNaught, Holmes, Lulin, Tuttle, Ikeya-Zhang]


New: January 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]

  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 7, 2012 there were 1272 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 YB63
Jan 2
0.6 LD
--
5 m
2011 YL28
Jan 4
3.7 LD
--
45 m
2011 YH40
Jan 16
5.4 LD
--
110 m
1991 VK
Jan 25
25.3 LD
--
1.9 km
433 Eros
Jan 31
69.5 LD
--
8.5 km
2009 AV
Feb 16
44.9 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Feb 19
17.7 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 CP4
Feb 23
9.1 LD
--
255 m
2008 EJ85
Mar 6
9.1 LD
--
44 m
1999 RD32
Mar 14
57.9 LD
--
2.3 km
2011 YU62
Mar 16
73.3 LD
--
1.4 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 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
Science Central
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  more links...
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