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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 341.8 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2210 UT Jul13
24-hr: X1
1658 UT Jul12
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jul 12
Sunspot 1520 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 132
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Jul 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 12 Jul 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 162 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Jul 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.3 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 12 Jul 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jul 13 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
70 %
70 %
CLASS X
20 %
20 %
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 Jul 13 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
35 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
15 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
20 %
SEVERE
60 %
20 %
 
Friday, Jul. 13, 2012
What's up in space
 

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

 
Venus Transit metal posters

REVISED FORECAST: The CME launched toward Earth by yesterday's X-flare is moving faster than originally thought. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have revised their forecast accordingly, advancing the cloud's expected arrival time to 09:17 UT (5:17 am EDT) on Saturday, July 14th. Weekend auroras are likely. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th. Because the sunspot is directly facing Earth, everything about the blast was geoeffective. For one thing, it hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) directly toward our planet. According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will hit Earth on July 14th around 09:17 UT (+/- 7 hours) and could spark strong geomagnetic storms.

The explosion also strobed Earth with a pulse of extreme UV radiation, shown here in a movie recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

The UV pulse partially ionized Earth's upper atmosphere, disturbing the normal propagation of radio signals around the planet. Monitoring stations in Norway, Ireland and Italy recorded the sudden ionospheric disturbance.

Finally, solar protons accelerated by the blast are swarming around Earth. The radiation storm, in progress, ranks "S1" on NOAA space weather scales, which means it poses no serious threat to satellites or astronauts. This could change if the storm continues to intensify. Stay tuned.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SOUTH POLE AURORAS: In a possible preview of the light show to come, bright auroras have been dancing over Earth's south pole. Robert Schwarz took this picture on July 12th from the grounds of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station:

"Yesterday we had some of the best auroras I've seen," says Schwarz.

Despite its high latitude, the South Pole is not always a good place to see the lights because it is often located in the "doughnut hole" of the aurora oval. July 12th was an exception: "Look carefully at the picture and you can see the actual Pole in the foreground" Schwarz points out.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of strong polar geeomagnetic storms on July 14th when a CME is expected to crash into Earth's magnetic field. More South Pole auroras could be in the offing.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


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

  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 July 13, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.2 LD
--
1.3 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
--
1.0 km
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
--
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 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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