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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 442.8 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1701 UT Jan13
24-hr: C2
0605 UT Jan13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jan 12
All of these sunspots have simple, quiet magnetic fields. The chance of flares is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 57
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 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 12 Jan 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 117 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 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= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.8 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 12 Jan 12
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 16-17. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jan 13 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 13 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
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Friday, Jan. 13, 2012
What's up in space
 

Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.

 
Satellite flybys

SOME COMETS LIKE IT HOT: Astronomers are still scratching their heads over Comet Lovejoy, which plunged through the atmosphere of the sun in December and, against all odds, survived. The comet is now receding into the outer solar system leaving many mysteries behind. [full story] [video]

FRIDAY THE 13TH AURORAS: Who says Friday the 13th is unlucky? Just look how the day began in Tromsø, Norway:

"Friday the 13th started very luckily indeed!" says photographer Antony Spencer. "We enjoyed an incredible display of auroras for five hours. The lights were so bright, even the snow turned green."

The auroras were sparked by the onset of a solar wind stream (~550 km/s), which reached Earth during the early hours of Jan. 13th. More geomagnetic activity is possible tonight as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

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

FARSIDE ERUPTION: On Jan. 12th, between 10:00 and 1300 UT, NASA's STEREO-Behind spacecraft observed a significant eruption on the farside of the sun. Although the blast was partially eclipsed by the edge of the solar disk, it nevertheless produced a long-duration X-ray flare (C3-class) detectable from Earth. A movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows some of the debris flying over the NE limb:

The blast site is only ~two days away from rotating onto the Earthside of the sun. By this weekend, we could get a direct look at the active region. Perhaps it will break the recent string of mostly quiet days and low solar activity.

Update: The partially-eclipsed C-flare was strong enough to make waves of ionizaton in Earth's upper atmosphere. This, in turn, disturbed the normal propagation of low-frequency radio waves over Europe. "The C3.3 flare on the far side of the Sun was picked up on my SID monitoring station," reports Dave Gradwell of Birr Ireland. "It affected the 20.9 kHz signal from FTA in France, just before the signal became unstable."


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

  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 13, 2012 there were 1272 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 YL28
Jan 4
3.7 LD
--
45 m
2011 YH40
Jan 16
5.4 LD
--
109 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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