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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

SpaceWeather.com
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.

SPACE WEATHER
Current
Conditions

Solar Wind
speed: 254.7 km/s
density:
4.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
A0 2245 UT Mar22
24-hr: A3 0820 UT Mar22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 22 Mar '07

The sun is blank today--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 21 Mar 2007

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals one large sunspot group on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz:
1.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on March 24th or 25th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV telescope


SPACE WEATHER
NOAA
Forecasts

Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2007 Mar 21 2203 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 01 % 01 %
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 2007 Mar 21 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 20 %
MINOR 05 % 05 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 15 % 25 %
MINOR 05 % 10 %
SEVERE 01 % 01 %

What's Up in Space -- 22 Mar 2007
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The space shuttle flies in April. Would you like a call when it soars over your backyard? Spaceweather PHONE!

SOLAR SURPRISE: Japan's Hinode spacecraft has taken spectacular pictures of a magnetic vortex twisting, turning, and erupting as a solar flare. The flare occured in a region of the sun previously thought to be uneventful. Get the surprising story from Science@NASA.

CORONAL HOLE: A hole has opened up in the sun's atmosphere and solar wind is spilling out. It's a "coronal hole," colored black in this March 21st ultraviolet image from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO):

High-latitude geomagnetic storms are possible when the solar wind reaches Earth on March 24th or 25th. Sky watchers from Scandinavia to Alaska should be alert for auroras.

PLUTO ECLIPSE: On March 18th, Pluto eclipsed a dim red star in the constellation Sagittarius. Amateur astronomer Chris Peterson recorded the event from his backyard observatory in Guffey, Colorado:

"For about 5 minutes, the combined intensity (star+Pluto) dropped about 0.45 magnitudes as the planet's shadow passed my observatory." He used an SBIG ST-8 camera and a 12-inch LX200 telescope to obtain the light curve.

When a star goes behind Pluto, its light is not extinguished abruptly, as if hidden by a sharp edge, but rather gradually--a sign that Pluto is surrounded by a fuzzy layer of gas. Such eclipses, properly called "stellar occultations," are a valuable tool for astronomers studying Pluto's surprising atmosphere.


March 19th Solar Eclipse Gallery
Updated March 20, 2007



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 22 Mar 2007 there were 853 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

March 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters
ASTEROID

 DATE
(UT)

MISS DISTANCE

MAG.

 SIZE
2007 EH

Mar. 11

0.5 LD

16

10 m
2007 EK

Mar. 13

0.7 LD

18

5 m
2006 VV2

Mar. 31

8.8 LD

9

2 km
Notes: LD is a "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 Environment Center -- The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.

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. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

Recent Solar Events -- a summary of current solar conditions from lmsal.com.

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips: email


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