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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 482.7 km/sec
density: 1.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1729 UT Aug10
24-hr: C6
1044 UT Aug10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Aug 11
Sunspot 1263, te source of yesterday's X7-class solar flare, is aboout to leave the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 54
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Aug 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 09 Aug 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 98 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 Aug 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.8 nT
Bz: 0.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Aug 11
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal should reach Earth on or about Aug. 14th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Aug 10 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
05 %
CLASS X
10 %
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: 2011 Aug 10 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 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

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. International observers are now reporting more than a dozen Perseids per hour, a number that will increase as the shower reaches its peak on August 12-13. Full moonlight will reduce visibility on peak night, but not enough to completely spoil the show. The best time to look is Saturday morning, Aug. 13, just before dawn when the Moon is low, the shower is peaking, and the ISS is flying overhead. Also, be sure to tune into Space Weather Radio to hear the ghostly pings of Perseids disintegrating over the US Air Force's Space Surveillance Radar.

What was that? Dawn is a great time to see satellites. There are hundreds in Earth orbit, and you're sure to see some of them while you're watching the Perseids. This app for Android phones can tell you what you're seeing.

MAJOR FLARE, NOT EARTH-DIRECTED: On August 9th at 0805 UT, sunspot 1263 produced an X7-class solar flare--only the third X-flare of new Solar Cycle 24 and the most powerful so far. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the explosion's extreme ultraviolet flash:

The brunt of the explosion was not Earth directed. Nevertheless, radiation from the flare created waves of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere, briefly disrupting communications at some VLF and HF radio frequencies. The blast also accelerated a mild torrent of protons toward Earth; they can be seen speckling the images in this SOHO movie of a CME emerging from the blast site. The CME will probably miss Earth. At this time, however, we cannot rule out a glancing blow from the flank of the cloud on August 11th or 12th. Stay tuned for additional analysis. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

X-flares of Solar Cycle 24: Feb. 15, 2011 (X2), March 9, 2011 (X1), Aug. 9, 2011 (X7). Before these three, the previous X-flare occured on Dec.14, 2006, (X1) during old Solar Cycle 23.

WEEKEND AURORAS: A widespread display of auroras erupted late Friday, Aug. 5th, when a double-CME hit Earth's magnetic field and sparked a G4-category geomagnetic storm. Click on the image to view a time lapse video of the event recorded by Michael Ericsson on the shores of Tibbitt Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada:

"Although not the most intense auroras I've ever seen, this one is definitely up there on my favorites list," he says.

The show was not restricted to Canada. Northern Lights spilled across the border into the United States as far south as Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. (Note: The faint red lights photographed in Nebraska are typical of low-latitude auroras during major geomagnetic storms.) Observers in Europe as far south as England, Germany and Poland also witnessed a fine display. Browse the gallery for more examples.

Did you miss the show? Don't let that happen again. Sign up for geomagnetic storm alerts: text, voice.

August 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]


2011 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009]

  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 August 10, 2011 there were 1241 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 OD18
Jul 28
0.4 LD
--
22 m
2011 PE2
Jul 30
3.5 LD
--
109 m
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 LD
--
1.1 km
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
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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