You are viewing the page for Dec. 29, 2010
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 334.2 km/sec
density: 3.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
2110 UT Dec29
24-hr: B4
2110 UT Dec29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Dec 10
Sunspot 1138 is quiet and poses no threat for strong flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 31
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Dec 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 819 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 28 Dec 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Dec 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.5 nT
Bz: 0.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Dec 10
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 1st or 2nd--the first solar wind stream of the New Year. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Dec 29 2200 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: 2010 Dec 29 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
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

SUBSIDING STORM: The geomagnetic storm of Dec. 28th is subsiding. The G1-class disturbance began when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipped south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere and allowing solar wind to enter. Cameras onboard US Dept. of Defense meteorological satellites recorded bright bands of aurora borealis circling the polar regions north of Scandinavia:

Paul McCrone processed the data at the US Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, CA. "These images use both nighttime visual and infrared data from the DMSP satellites F17 and F18," he says. DMSP satellites are outfitted with low-light cameras capable of recording clouds, lightning, city lights and auroras after nightfall. Note in the image, above, how the brightest bands of aurora borealis rival the urban lights of some northern European cities. "It was a dramatic display," observes McCrone.

more images: from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway; from Severin Sadjina of Vigra, Møre og Romsdal, Norway; from Bjarki Mikkelsen of Porjus, Sweden; from Helge Mortensen of Kvaløya, Norway; from Timo Newton-Syms of Ruka, Finland; from Rob Stammes of Laukvik Lofoten Norway

GIANT STORM ON SATURN: Got a telescope for Christmas? Point it at Saturn. A giant storm even brighter than Saturn's rings is raging through the planet's cloudtops. "I've never seen anything like this," says veteran planetary photographer Anthony Wesley. "It's possible that this is the biggest storm on Saturn in many decades." Here it is recorded by Wesley's 16-inch telescope on Dec. 22nd:

Instruments on NASA's Cassini spacecraft are picking up strong bursts of radio static. Apparently, lightning is being generated in multiple cells across the storm front. Cassini's cameras are also beaming back fantastic images of the tempest.

"At it's current size and brightness, the storm should be visible to anyone with a mid-size scope under steady seeing," continues Wesley. "This is a great time to be a planetary photographer." [Sky maps: Dec. 29, 30, 31]

more images: from Fredy Willems of Waipahu, Hawaii; from Glenn Jolly of Gilbert, Arizona; from Christopher Go of Cebu City, Philippines; from Sadegh Ghomizadeh of Tehran, Iran; from Vincent Lao of Pasig City, Philippines


Lunar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: "Solstice Lunar Eclipse"] [astronomy alerts]


November 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Novembers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000]

  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 December 29, 2010 there were 1167 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 TQ19
Oct 8
9.6 LD
18
37 m
2010 TS19
Oct 10
3.7 LD
18
31 m
2010 TD54
Oct 12
0.1 LD
14
7 m
2010 TB54
Oct 13
6.1 LD
20
19 m
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
16
1.8 km
2010 TK
Oct 16
4.5 LD
18
37 m
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
13
5.2 km
2010 TG19
Oct 22
1.1 LD
15
70 m
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
15
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
39.2 LD
15
1.1 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
12
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
14
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
17
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
21
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
16
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
-
1.5 km
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
13
1.3 km
2008 EA32
Jan 7
76.5 LD
-
2.1 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 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
   
  more links...
©2010 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
Spaceweather Text

©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.