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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 362.3 km/sec
density: 8.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2205 UT Jul07
24-hr: B1
2205 UT Jul07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 07 July 09
Sunspot 1024 has stopped growing and solar flare activity is subsiding. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 23
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 July 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 142 days (77%)
Since 2004: 653 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 06 July 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.3 nT
Bz: 3.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on or about July 12th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jul 07 2201 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: 2009 Jul 07 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 7, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

 

WHAT'S FOLLOWING THE ISS? Several readers have reported seeing a "mysterious satellite" following the International Space Station. It trails the station by about one minute, relatively faint, but definitely there. Mystery solved: The follower is Progress 33, a Russian supply ship. On July 12th, it will come within meters of the ISS to test a new automated docking system. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times--and get two spaceships for the price of one.

images: from Ralf Vandebergh of Wittem, the Netherlands; from Jun Lao of Deerfield Township, Ohio

SUBSIDING SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1024 is experiencing some decay and solar flare activity is subsiding. Nevertheless, by recent standards it is still a behemoth. "Now approaching the western limb, the region provides a tremendous richness of detail through amateur solar telescopes," says Pete Lawrence who sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Selsey UK:

Many readers are writing to ask if this sunspot is going to produce a major solar storm today, July 7th. Such a storm was "predicted" by a set of crop circles in England, and the solar blogosphere has been abuzz with speculation. The answer is "no." A major storm is not in the offing. Sunspot 1024 is relatively large, but it does not have the kind of complex magnetic field that poses a threat for major eruptions. Crop circles, it turns out, are not a useful tool for forecasting solar activity.

more images: from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Stuart Thomson of Melbourne, Australia; from Fulvio Mete of Rome, Italy; from Mustafa Erol of Antalya, Turkey; from Raffaele Filannino of Barletta, Puglia, Italia; from Gary Colwell of Ardooch Ontario; from Tom Jorgenson of Neenah, Wisconsin; from Therese van Nieuwenhoven of Laukvik, Lofoten islands, Norway; from T. Emerson and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Pavol Rapavy of Observatory Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia;

FULL MOON: Tonight's full Moon is more than just a source of light and beauty. It also makes a good footrest:

Greek photographer P.Nikolakakos took the picture from a Spartan beach on July 7th. "I used an off-the-shelf Canon 40D," he says. After the model's feet were sufficiently rested, she bent down and cradled the Moon in her hands. "The Moon offers so many good photo-ops if only you are ready to take advantage of them."

Photographers, that sounds like a challenge. What will you do with tonight's full Moon? Submit your photos here.


2009 Sarychev Sunset Gallery
[See also: 2008 Kasatochi Sunset Photo Gallery]


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


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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 July 7, 2009 there were 1065 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 MM8
July 13
11.4 LD
18
53 m
2008 NP3
July 18
11.8 LD
18
87 m
2006 TU7
July 20
14.2 LD
17
175 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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