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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: 415.9 km/sec
density: 1.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2020 UT May10
24-hr: B1
1215 UT May10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 10 May 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 May 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 10 days
2009 total: 112 days (86%)
Since 2004: 623 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 10 May 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
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 2 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 May 10 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 May 10 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
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
May 10, 2009

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

 

SATELLITE COLLISION: On Feb. 10th, 2009, Iridium 33 collided with Cosmos 2251 over northern Siberia, and the two satellites were shattered. US Strategic command has since catalogued 981 pieces of debris, 25 of which have already reentered Earth's atmosphere. On this three-month anniversary of the collision, veteran satellite observer Daniel Deak has prepared a set of 3D orbital debris maps. Broswe the links to see where the fragments are located on May 10, 2009: Iridium 33: #1, #2, #3, Cosmos 2251: #1, #2, #3.

BONUS: A large piece of Iridium 33 wreckage is visible to the naked eye as it tumbles through the night sky flashing every 4.7 seconds. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.

SOLAR RADIO BURST: On May 9th at 1614 UT, the sun emitted a strong shortwave radio burst. Amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded the event using a 21 MHz radio telescope in New Mexico. Click on the image to listen:

The loud swishing sound you just heard is a combo Type III-Type V solar radio burst caused by electron beams moving through the sun's outer atmosphere. The source of the electrons is probably an active region now emerging over the sun's eastern limb. The unnumbered region is crackling with low-level A- and B-class solar flares, and it could produce more radio sounds in the days ahead. Ham radio operators, point your Yagis toward the sun!

more images: from Jesper Sorensen of Kastrup, Denmark; from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from Lars Zielke of Tvis Denmark; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Guenter Kleinschuster of Feldbach, Austria; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, Kentucky; from Mike Strieber of Las Vegas, Nevada; from Sylvain Weiller of Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France

EUROPA OCCULTS GANYMEDE: On May 8th, Anthony Wesley of Murrumbateman, Australia, recorded a very rare event--one of Jupiter's moons eclipsing another. "Here," says Wesley, "is an animation of Europa passing directly in front of Ganymede."

He made the movie using a 13-inch telescope and a digital video camera. "Seeing was not good, so I was only able to use 250 of the 1200 frames I collected." Nevertheless, it is an extraordinary observation, showing the distant moons as genuine world-like disks as they pass in "mutual occultation."

Earth is moving through the orbital plane of Jupiter's satellites, allowing the moons to line up for events such as Wesley recorded on May 8th. This special geometry comes along approximately once every 6 years. The last time was in 2002-2003, and now it is happening again. Between April and December of 2009, observers around the world can see Jupiter's moons passing one in front of another as they circle the giant planet. As part of the International Year of Astronomy, professional astronomers are organizing a worldwide observing campaign to record as many of these events as possible. Click here for details.


April 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]


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 May 10, 2009 there were 1054 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 JA
May 4
7.5 LD
18
37 m
2006 FG3
May 6
60.7 LD
17
1.1 km
2001 SG286
May 17
11.5 LD
16
280 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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