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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

SpaceWeather.com
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.

SPACE WEATHER
Current
Conditions

Solar Wind
speed: 529.8 km/s
density:
2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
B1 1745 UT Jan02
24-hr: B1 1745 UT Jan02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 02 Jan '07

These sunspots pose no threat for X-class solar flares--but they are big and photogenic. Credit:
SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 01 Jan 2007

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.9 nT
Bz:
1.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope


SPACE WEATHER
NOAA
Forecasts

Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2007 Jan 02 2203 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 05 % 05 %
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 2007 Jan 02 2203 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 20 %
MINOR 15 % 10 %
SEVERE 05 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 40 % 25 %
MINOR 20 % 15 %
SEVERE 10 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 2 Jan 2007
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Did you sleep through the auroras of Dec. 14th? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.

AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing mild geomagnetic storms. Sky watchers from Scandinavia to Alaska should be alert for auroras.

WOLF MOON: Can you hear the howls? According to folklore, tonight's full moon is the Wolf Moon, named after singing packs of wolves once heard by Native Americans in the deep of winter. Photographer Pierluca Grotto sends this picture from Malo, Italy:


Photo details: Canon 5D, f/2.8, 16-35mm lens, 1/100 sec.

The glowing ring around this Wolf Moon is an ice halo. Tiny crystals of frozen water floating in clouds 5 to 10 km high catch rays of moonlight and bend them as shown. It's very pretty. Go outside tonight and take a look.

more images: from Vic Winter of Warrensburg, Missouri

SNOWFLAKE AND HOARFROST: Not all the ice is in the clouds. Barb Robertson of Ottawa, Ontario, was taking pictures of hoarfrost growing between her front steps on Dec. 27th when "it started to snow," she says. "This lovely snowflake landed among the frost."


Pentax DS2, 105mm Sigma macro lens, 1/125s, f2.8, ISO 800

Hoarfrost is winter's substitute for dew. Snow is winter rain. Put the two together and you've got a fantastic picture--if you can take it. "It was hard to get everything in focus," Robertson allows.



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 2 Jan 2007 there were 832 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

Jan 2007 Earth-asteroid encounters
ASTEROID

 DATE
(UT)

MISS DISTANCE

MAG.

 SIZE
2006 UQ17

Jan. 2

11 LD

16

175 m
1991 VK

Jan. 21

26 LD

15

2.0 km
5011 Ptah

Jan. 21

77 LD

15

1.6 km
2006 CJ

Jan. 31

10 LD

~16

385 m
2006 AM4

Feb. 1

5.2 LD

16

180 m
Notes: LD is a "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 Environment Center -- The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.

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. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

X-ray images of the Sun: GOES-12 and GOES-13

Recent Solar Events -- a summary of current solar conditions from lmsal.com.

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips: email


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