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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 380.0 km/sec
density: 4.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
2241 UT Mar10
24-hr: X1
2323 UT Mar09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Mar 11
Behemoth sunspot 1166 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 132
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Mar 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (2%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 09 Mar 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 143 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 Mar 2011

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: 8.6 nT
Bz: 7.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Mar 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole is likely to brush past Earth's magnetic field on or about March 13th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Mar 10 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
50 %
50 %
CLASS X
10 %
10 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2011 Mar 10 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
05 %
SEVERE
10 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
35 %
MINOR
20 %
10 %
SEVERE
10 %
01 %
 
Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011
What's up in space
 

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Satellite flybys

CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on March 10th around 0630 UT. The impact, albeit weak, did provoke geomagnetic activity around the poles. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

impact images: from Zoltan Kenwell near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; from Warren Gammel of Fairbanks, Alaska; from Joseph Shaw of Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska; from William Helms of Fairbanks, Alaska;

X-FLARE: March 9th ended with a powerful solar flare. Earth-orbiting satellites detected an X1.5-class explosion from behemoth sunspot 1166 around 2323 UT. A movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a bright flash of UV radiation plus some material being hurled away from the blast site:


Movie formats: 4 MB gif, 1.2 MB iPad, 0.3 MB iPhone

UPDATE (March 10 @ 1800 UT): Newly-arriving coronagraph data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory show no bright CME emerging from this eruption. Some material was surely hurled in our direction, but probably not enough for significant Earth-effects.

After four years without any X-flares, the sun has produced two of the powerful blasts in less than one month: Feb. 15th and March 9th. This continues the recent trend of increasing solar activity, and shows that Solar Cycle 24 is heating up. NOAA forecasters estimate a 5% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours.

SOLAR FLARE ALERTS: Would you like a call when the next X-flare erupts? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

SUNSPOT CONJUNCTION: On March 7th, shortly after space shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station, the two ships flew directly in front of the sun over Europe. Catalin Fus of Krakow, Poland, had his solar-filtered telescope trained on sunspot 1166 and recorded this amazing conjunction:

"I was surprised that I could see Discovery flying around the station," says Fus. "The shuttle is so small compared to the ISS." Nevertheless, both silhouettes were clearly visible alongside the sunspot. Browse the links for more transit images: from Jérôme DELPAU of Coemont, Sarthe, France; from Jan Eric Krikke of Heerenveen, The Netherlands; from Pawel Warchal of Cracow, Poland.


March 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Marches: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 March 10, 2011 there were 1204 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 EC
Mar 6
9.2 LD
--
34 m
2011 EO11
Mar 6
1.8 LD
--
15 m
2011 EY11
Mar 7
0.3 LD
--
9 m
2011 EC12
Mar 8
3.3 LD
--
30 m
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
--
2.6 km
2011 EU20
Mar 11
1.6 LD
--
16 m
2011 BE38
Apr 10
48 LD
--
1.0 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
9 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 m
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
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
   
  more links...
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