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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: 304.4 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2320 UT Oct03
24-hr: A0
2320 UT Oct03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Oct. 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Photo credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Oct 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 1 days
2009 total: 213 days (78%)
Since 2004: 724 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 02 Oct 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= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Oct 03 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 Oct 03 2201 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
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
October 3, 2009

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

 

COSMIC RAYS HIT SPACE AGE HIGH: NASA spacecraft are measuring record-high levels of cosmic rays--a side-effect of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. This development could have implications for the amount of shielding astronauts need to take when they explore deep space. Science@NASA has the full story.

HARVEST MOON: Tonight's full Moon has a special name--the Harvest Moon. It's the full moon closest to the northern autumnal equinox (Sept. 22). In years past, farmers depended on the light of the Harvest Moon to gather ripening crops late into the night. Now, electric bulbs do that job, albeit not as beautifully as the original lunar lamp:

"I was walking to work early this morning when I noticed the warm yellow Harvest Moon beaming through the boxy streetlights," says photographer Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprém, Hungary. "The old, scarry face of Moon looked at the modern lamps of a modern world just as an aging, wise teacher looks around in a classroom full of bustling young boys. It was a moment pulled out of Time and recorded forever in this photo and my memory."

Readers, when the sun goes down tonight, look east for a Harvest Moon experience of your own.

more images: from Miguel Claro of Almada, Lisboa - Portugal.; from Mustafa Erol of Antalya, Turkey; from Masa Nakamura of Otawara, Tochigi, Japan

BIG(FOOT) DISCOVERY: NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has made a stunning discovery. Bigfoot is an extraterrestrial! His tracks have been found on Mercury:

MESSENGER took the picture during a flyby of Mercury on Sept. 29th. The giant paw print was just one of many wonders MESSENGER's cameras saw imprinted on thousands of square kilometers of previously unseen terrain. In this case, a cluster of small craters--"toes"--were by chance arranged in an arc above a stack of larger, partially overlapping craters--the "heel." MESSENGER also photographed a happy crater, a double crater, and a crater splash.

Although early results from the flyby are dominated by pictures of craters, the spacecraft also made new measurements of Mercury's magnetic tornadoes and its comet-like tail. Mission scientists are still analyzing those data, which are more complicated than crater-snapshots and potentially much more interesting. Stay tuned for updates.


Sept. 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001]


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 October 3, 2009 there were 1079 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Sept. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 QC35
Sept. 2
2.9 LD
17
35 m
2009 RY3
Sept. 11
1.9 LD
15
50 m
2009 RR
Sept. 16
2.8 LD
18
33 m
2009 RG2
Sept. 21
9.1 LD
19
31 m
2009 SN103
Sept. 28
1.2 LD
17
13 m
2009 HD21
Sept. 29
22.9 LD
15
1.0 km
1998 FW4
Sept. 29
8.6 LD
14
550 m
2009 SH2
Sept. 30
2.8 LD
17
49 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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