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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: 298.0 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2255 UT Jan10
24-hr: B4
0245 UT Jan10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Jan. 10
Sunspot 1040 (a.k.a. old sunspot 1035) is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 20
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Jan 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 1 day (11%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 09 Jan 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 82 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 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
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 1.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 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
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jan 10 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 10 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
January 10, 2010

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

 

FINAL NIGHT LAUNCH OF THE SHUTTLE: On Feb. 7th at 4:39 am EST, space shuttle Endeavour will blast off from the Kennedy Space Center on a mission (STS-130) to the International Space Station. It will be the final night launch of NASA's soon-to-be-retired shuttle program. After STS-130, only four missions remain and all of them will leave Earth in broad daylight. Readers, if you are ever going to travel to Florida to witness a launch, Feb. 7th would be a good choice.

BIG SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1040 (a.k.a. old sunspot 1035) is growing again and is now at least four times wider than planet Earth. A blink comparison of SOHO images shows how the sunspot has expanded in the past 24 hours:

Backyard astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Matt Wastell of Brisbane, Australia; from Alcaria Rego of Almada, Portugal; from Monty Leventhal OAM of Sydney, Australia; from Karzaman Ahmad of Langkawi National Observatory, Malaysia; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Paul Schneider of Wilton, Connecticut; from J. Maciaszek, C. Cusack, J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Gianfranco Meregalli of Milano, Italy

ISLAND SNOW: Last week when NASA's Terra satellite orbited over Europe, it saw something very unusual. The normally temperate British Isles were completely covered by snow. On Jan. 7th, from an altitude of 420 miles, Terra's MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) camera snapped this picture:

It's not only Britian. Heavy snowfall and record-low temperatures have spread across Europe, closing schools, paralyzing airports, and downing power lines. Much of North America and parts of Asia are experiencing the same brutal cold.

The cause of the phenomenon could be the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The AO is a seesawing strengthening and weakening of semi-permanent areas of low and high atmospheric pressure in the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. One consequence of the oscillation’s negative phase is cold, snowy weather in Eurasia and North America during the winter months. The extreme negative dip of the Arctic Oscillation Index in December 2009 was the lowest monthly value observed for the past six decades.

On the bright side, these conditions are ideal for many forms of atmospheric optics and fantastic patterns of frost on the ground and other surfaces. Browse the links below for examples of what to look for.

more images: from Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden; from Andrew Greenwood of Kerridge on the edge of the Peak District, UK; 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 10, 2010 there were 1091 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 AL2
Jan. 11
11.5 LD
20
23 m
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...
   
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