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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 399.3 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: X1
2238 UT Sep07
24-hr: X1
2238 UT Sep07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Sep 11
Sunspot 1283 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 93
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Sep 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 06 Sep 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 112 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Sep 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: 2.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 07 Sep 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Sept. 11-12. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Sep 07 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
75 %
75 %
CLASS X
30 %
30 %
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 Sep 07 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
25 %
MINOR
01 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
30 %
MINOR
01 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

SOLAR RADIO BURSTS: This week's sharp increase in solar activity has turned the sun into a radio transmitter. Bursts of shortwave static are coming from the unstable magnetic canopy of sunspot 1283. Yesterday in New Mexico, amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded some samples at 21 MHz: listen. Radio listeners should remain alert for this kind of solar activity as sunspot 1283 continues to seethe.

STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot 1283 is crackling with solar flares. Yesterday, Sept. 6th, the active region produced an M5.3-class eruption at 0150 UT followed by a X2.1-class event at 2220 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded this extreme UV flash from the X-flare:

The flares produced waves of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere, briefly altering the propagation of low-frequency radio signals around our planet. Moreover, the two eruptions hurled clouds of plasma (CMEs) in our direction. CME impacts, geomagnetic storms and auroras are expected on Sept. 8-10. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

X-flares of Solar Cycle 24: There have been only a small number of X-flares since the beginning of new Solar Cycle 24. Here is a complete list so far: Feb. 15, 2011 (X2), March 9, 2011 (X1), Aug. 9, 2011 (X7), Sept. 6, 2011 (X2). Before these four, the previous X-flare occured on Dec.14, 2006, (X1) during old Solar Cycle 23.

AURORA SEASON: September is only one week old and it has already been a good month for Northern Lights. With the midnight sun doing a late-summer fade, many Arctic sky watchers are seeing auroras for the first time in months. Sylvain Serre of Ivujivik, Canada, photographed this satisfied observer on Sept. 3rd:

 

"For the first time this season, we had clear dark skies in the village of Ivujivik in northern Quebec," says Serre. "The Northern Lights were very bright, dense and colorful."

As shown in the gallery, similar displays have been observed almost every night this month. More auroras are possible on September 8-10th in response to the expected arrival of one or two CMEs propelled in our direction by sunspot 1283. Stay tuned. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

September 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004]

  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 September 7, 2011 there were 1244 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2007 TD
Sep 23
3.8 LD
--
58 m
2002 AG29
Oct 9
77.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 OJ8
Oct 13
49.8 LD
--
2.5 km
2009 TM8
Oct 17
1.1 LD
--
8 m
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
--
175 m
1994 CK1
Nov 16
68.8 LD
--
1.5 km
1996 FG3
Nov 23
39.5 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 WM7
Dec 9
47.6 LD
--
1.5 km
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
Science Central
 
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