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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: 597.6 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1745 UT May04
24-hr: C2
1625 UT May04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 04 May 10
None of these sunspots pose a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 61
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 May 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 21 days (17%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 791 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 03 May 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 80 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 May 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.3 nT
Bz: 1.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: STEREO-B Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 May 04 2201 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: 2010 May 04 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
20 %
MINOR
20 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
May 4, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.

 

METEORS FROM HALLEY'S COMET: The eta Aquarid meteor shower, caused by dust from Halley's Comet, peaks this year on May 7th. The shower is strongest over the southern hemisphere, where observers could see more than 30 meteors per hour despite the bright light of a waning half Moon. No matter where you live, the best time to look is during the hours before local sunrise on Friday. [full story]

AURORAS INVADE THE USA: A high-speed solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field on May 2nd, sparking a geomagnetic storm that lasted more than 15 hours. Red auroras spilled across the Canadian border and were spotted in several US states. Joseph Shaw sends this picture from Bozeman, Montana:

"The red auroras were just visible to the naked eye and easily captured by my Nikon D300," says Shaw. "Excellent treat!"

NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of continued geomagnetic activity over the next 24 hours. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

NEW: May 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Mays: 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002] [aurora alerts]

SPOTTED SUN: The sun is peppered with spots today. Click on any of the circled regions below, and you will find dark cores:

These sunspot groups are not big, but they are remarkably numerous. The last time five such groups appeared simultaneously was more than four years ago--before the Great Solar Minimum of 2008-2009. Slowly but surely, it seems, the sun is coming back to life.

more images: from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, KY

 
       
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 May 4, 2010 there were 1116 potentially hazardous asteroids.
April 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 GV23
April 5
2.1 LD
19
12 m
2010 GF7
April 8
2.8 LD
18
30 m
2010 GA6
April 9
1.1 LD
16
27 m
2010 GM23
April 13
3.4 LD
17
47 m
2005 YU55
April 19
5.9 LD
15
185 m
2009 UY19
April 23
8.8 LD
18
87 m
2002 JR100
April 29
8.0 LD
19
65 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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