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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 452.2 km/sec
density: 12.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1724 UT May22
24-hr: B5
0735 UT May22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 22 May 12
None of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 120
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 21 May 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 21 May 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 131 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 21 May 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= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.5 nT
Bz: 3.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 22 May 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 May 22 2200 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: 2012 May 22 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
10 %
MINOR
15 %
01 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
05 %
SEVERE
15 %
01 %
 
Tuesday, May. 22, 2012
What's up in space
 

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

 
Meteorite jewelry

QUIET SUN: With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun's x-ray output has flatlined. Solar activity is very low, and likely to remain so for the next 24 hours.

SUNSET CONJUNCTION: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west. An exquisitely-slender crescent Moon is passing to the left of Venus. A small telescope pointed at Venus shows that it is a crescent, too. [sky map]

NOON CONJUNCTION: Mercury, Jupiter and the Pleiades are converging for a beautiful three-way conjunction. Unfortunately, it's happening in broad daylight. The two planets and the star cluster are only a few degrees from the sun. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) photographed the encounter on May 22nd:

SOHO uses a coronagraph to block the glare of the sun, revealing what the human eye cannot see. Later today, Mercury and Jupiter will pass in the noon sky less than 1/3rd a degree apart. Join SOHO for a ringside seat.

FANTASTIC ECLIPSE: The Moon passed in front of the sun on Sunday, May 20th, producing a deep solar eclipse visible across the Pacific side of Earth. Sunlight dimmed, the air cooled, ordinary sunbeams turned into fat crescents and rings of light. And the sunset was definitely different. Jacob Thumberger sends this picture from Gail, Texas:

Many more pictures of the eclipse may be found in our new realtime photo gallery. It's an experimental service, so feel free to report problems. Start clicking for rings of fire:

Space Weather Real Time Image Gallery
[Submit your photos] [NASA video: Solar Eclipse over the USA]

  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 May 22, 2012 there were 1293 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 KA
May 17
0.6 LD
--
9 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
--
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
--
5.7 km
2012 KW
May 21
3.4 LD
--
19 m
2012 JV11
May 22
6.7 LD
--
68 m
2012 KT12
May 23
1.4 LD
--
25 m
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2002 AC
Jun 16
62.2 LD
--
1.2 km
1999 BJ8
Jun 16
68.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2005 GO21
Jun 21
17.1 LD
--
2.2 km
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.2 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
--
1.0 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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