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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 291.0 km/sec
density: 2.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1745 UT Jan08
24-hr: B1
1745 UT Jan08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Jan. 10
Old sunspot 1035 is growing spots again. The resurrected sunspot has been re-numbered 1040 by NOAA. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 15
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Jan 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 1 day (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 07 Jan 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 78 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 Jan 2010

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals one or more possible sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 12th or 13th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jan 08 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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 08 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
January 8, 2010

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


EXPLOSIVE MYSTERY: NASA is building a new space telescope named "NuSTAR" to answer a question that has been vexing astrophysicists for decades. Why won't the supernova explode? Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SUNSPOT RESURRECTED: Old and decaying sunspot 1035, declared to be "a corpse" just yesterday, is showing signs of renewed life. Pete Lawrence sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Selsey, UK:

"A welcome view of the sun on a cold January day reveals the remains of AR11035 still alive and kicking," says Lawrence.

Beneath the waving filaments and bright magnetic froth ("plage"), a dark core is coelescing in the heart of the active region. That makes it a genuine sunspot again. NOAA has re-numbered the region "1040," but we will continue to refer to it by its original name, "1035." It is, after all, an old friend.

more images: from Emiel Veldhuis of Zwolle, the Netherlands; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Howard Eskildsen of Ocala, Florida; from Fabio Mariuzza of Biauzzo - Italy

COLD SUN: You know its cold when the rising sun shines through icicles ... in Florida. Mark Staples took this rare photo overlooking Little Lake Santa Fe near Waldo, FL, on Jan. 7th:

"The golden sunrise turned these colorless spikes of ice into something resembling the fiery trails we occasional see from here when NASA launches a space shuttle," says Staples. "The warmth of the sun quickly reduced these Florida-cicles, but it was a rare a beautiful sight while it lasted."

This is, however, just the tip of the icicle. The remarkable cold, which has struck not only the United States, but also England and China, is creating widespread displays of atmospheric optics. The sun shining through ice in the air produces sundogs, sun pillars, and a variety of luminous rings and arcs. Browse the links below for examples.

more images: from Evan Ludes of Omaha, Nebraska; from Tyler Burg of Omaha, Nebraska; from Dan Bush of Albany, Missouri; from Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas; from Julia Ponce of Papillion, Nebraska; from Kyle George of Omaha, Nebraska

January Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Januarys: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001]

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 8, 2010 there were 1091 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
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.
  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, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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