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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 674.5 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2300 UT Mar12
24-hr: C2
0155 UT Mar12
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 12 Mar 12
Sunspot 1429 is starting to decay as it turns away from Earth. The 'spot poses a declining threat for Earth-directed flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 103
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 11 Mar 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 11 Mar 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 131 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 11 Mar 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.0 nT
Bz: 3.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 12 Mar 12
A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on March 16-17. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Mar 12 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
CLASS X
10 %
10 %
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 Mar 12 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
35 %
15 %
SEVERE
20 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
25 %
SEVERE
65 %
40 %
 
Monday, Mar. 12, 2012
What's up in space
 

Don't just watch shooting stars. Wear them! Authentic meteorite jewelry for Valentine's Day is now available in the SpaceWeather Store.

 
Meteorite jewelry

CME IMPACT AND GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A moderate G2-class geomagnetic storm, caused by the arrival of a CME on March 12th at ~0930 UT is subsiding. The CME's impact caused ground currents in Norway, and strongly compressed Earth's magnetosphere, possibly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma. At the same time, photographic Southern Lights were recorded over New Zealand and Tasmania. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, phone.

WEEKEND SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot AR1429 erupted again over the weekend. On Saturday, March 10th, it produced a powerful M8-class flare that almost crossed the threshold into X-territory. During the flare, New Mexico amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded a series of radio bursts at 21 and 28 MHz:


Dynamic spectrum courtesy Wes Greenman, Alachua County, Florida

The roaring sounds you just heard are caused by shock waves plowing through the sun's atmosphere in the aftermath of the explosion. "There is incredible complexity in the waveforms," notes Ashcraft. "This is a recording of one of the most turbulent events in all of Nature!"

more data: from the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project in Atlanta, Georgia; from Eric Todd of Philadelphia, PA

SUNSET PLANETS: This is a great week to admire the sunset. Venus and Jupiter are side-by-side only 3o apart in the western sky, beaming through the twilight as soon as the sun goes down. "We have a wild tree in our front yard just begging for a set of eyes," says photographer Jeff Brown of Selah, Washington. "Jupiter and Venus worked perfectly." (continued below)

The two bright planets seem to inspire photographic creativity. In Wiltshire, England, Richard Fleet measured their angular separation using a pair of cat's ears, while photographer Claus Vogel of Ottawa, Ontario, tried his hand at planet painting.

Let the planets be your muse, and submit your images here.

more images: from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Göran Strand of Frösön, Sweden; from Gary A. Becker of Coopersburg, PA; from Andrew Dianetti of Paris, France; from Andrew Hoggins of Knowlton Dorset UK; from P-M Hedén of Stockholm, Sweden; from Barbara L. Schumacher of Vista, California.


February 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 March 12, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 EM1
Mar 6
7.6 LD
--
22 m
2008 EJ85
Mar 6
9.1 LD
--
44 m
2012 DH54
Mar 10
3.3 LD
--
13 m
2012 DW60
Mar 12
2.5 LD
--
23 m
1999 RD32
Mar 14
57.9 LD
--
2.4 km
2011 YU62
Mar 16
73.4 LD
--
1.3 km
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
--
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
--
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
--
1.8 km
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
--
43 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
--
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
--
5.7 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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