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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 298.3 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C8
2044 UT Aug31
24-hr: C8
2044 UT Aug31
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 31 Aug 12
Sunspot complex 1562-1563 is crackling with C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 118
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Aug 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

Update 31 Aug 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 128 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Aug 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= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.9 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2342 UT
Coronal Holes: 31 Aug 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Aug 31 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
40 %
40 %
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 Aug 31 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
10 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Friday, Aug. 31, 2012
What's up in space
 

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

 
Venus Transit metal posters

RADIATION BELT STORM PROBES: Most spacecraft try to avoid the Van Allen Belts, two doughnut-shaped regions around Earth filled with "killer electrons." Yesterday, NASA launched two heavily-shielded spacecraft directly into the belts.The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) are on a two-year mission to discover the reasn for the belts' dangerous unpredictability. [full story] [video]

BLUE MOON: Tonight's full Moon is the second full Moon this month. According to modern folklore, that makes it a "Blue Moon." Strange but true: Most blue moons look red, pink or gray. On rare occasions, however, the Moon can actually turn blue. A video from NASA explains how.

Richard Sears photographed the waxing full Moon last night from Atwater, California. It was not blue:

For more pictures of the Moon--red, blue, and otherwise--browse the realtime gallery:

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

IONIZATION WAVES: Magnetic fields snaking around the sun's southeastern limb are crackling with C- and M-class solar flares. Extreme UV pulses from the flares are illuminating Earth's upper atmosphere, causing waves of ionization to ripple around the dayside of our planet. Rob Stammes detected the sudden ionospheric disturbances (SIDs) from his laboratory in Lofoton, Norway:

"The extra ionization altered the propagation of very low frequency radio signals around Northern Europe," explains Stammes. "I detected these changes using my 60 kHz SID receiver."

More ionization waves are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Solar Flare alerts: text, phone.


Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 August 31, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 QH14
Aug 25
3.5 LD
--
15 m
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
--
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.0 km
2012 QZ16
Aug 30
7 LD
--
33 m
2012 QG42
Sep 14
7.4 LD
--
375 m
2012 QC8
Sep 14
22.7 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 km
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2012 QF49
Oct 29
77.6 LD
--
1.8 km
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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