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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 487.7 km/sec
density: 0.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
1712 UT May12
24-hr: C3
0008 UT May12
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 12 May 12
Sunspot 1476 poses a continued threat for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 102
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 11 May 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
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 11 May 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 136 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 11 May 2012

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: 5.1 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 11 May 12
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 May 12 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
65 %
65 %
CLASS X
15 %
15 %
Geomagnetic Storms:
Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at: 2012 May 12 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Saturday, May. 12, 2012
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

INCOMING CME (UPDATED): On May 11th at 23:54 UT, a coronal mass ejection raced away from the sun faster than 1000 km/s. The fast-moving cloud will deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 14th around 14:30 UT, according to a revised forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab. Mars is also in the line of fire. Magnetic storm alerts: text, phone.

SUNSET OVER PARIS: Huge sunspot AR1476 poses a threat for strong solar flares, but for the past two days the so-called "active region" has been mostly quiet. What the sunspot lacks in drama, however, it more than makes up for in beauty. Consider this photo of last night's sunset over Paris:

"Shooting from the Bridge of Concorde, I captured the sunspot setting behind the Eiffel Tower," says photographer VegaStar Carpentier. The light of the low-hanging sun was perfectly dimmed for a 1/1000s exposure @ ISO 400. "I used a Canon EOS 1000D."

The quiet is probably temporary. NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-class flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

more images: from the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project of Atlanta, GA; from Luis Argerich of Buenos Aires, Argentina; from Eduard Garcia Ribera of Ager, Lleida, Catalonia; from Andy Devey of Sorbas, Spain; from Vasilis Wooseas of Greece, Amvrakikos Wetlands National Park; from Giuseppe Petricca of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy; from Catalin Fus of Krakow, Poland

SPACESHIP IN THE SUN: The sunspot number briefly jumped yesterday when a winged silhouette crossed the solar disk over Hampshire, UK. James West was watching the sun with a solar-filtered telescope when the transit occured:

"The International Space Station passed right by giant sunspot AR1476," says West. "The sky was partly cloudy but I caught the transit anyway."

The sunspot-spaceship encounter was no surprise to West. It had been predicted beforehand by CalSky.org. Readers who wish to take this kind of photo should check CalSky for transit predictions and read West's observing tips. A safe solar observing system might also come in handy: Space Weather Store.

  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 12, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 JU
May 13
0.5 LD
--
13 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
--
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
--
5.7 km
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2002 AC
Jun 16
62.2 LD
--
1.2 km
1999 BJ8
Jun 16
68.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2005 GO21
Jun 21
17.1 LD
--
2.2 km
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.3 LD
--
1.3 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
--
1.0 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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