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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: 417.0 km/sec
density: 1.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Jul15
24-hr: A0
2340 UT Jul15
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 15 July 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 14 July 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 4 days
2009 total: 146 days (76%)
Since 2004: 657 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 14 July 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= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Jul 15 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 Jul 15 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
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
July 15, 2009

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

 

WIDE AWAKE IN THE SEA OF TRANQUILLITY: Why couldn't Neil Armstrong fall asleep on the Moon? The answer is revealed in today's suspenseful story from Science@NASA.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS GO WILD: In France, yesterday was Bastille Day, and the heavens themselves joined the party. "As we celebrated the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) stormed the sky of Paris!" reports Olivier Lagrave who photographed the Eiffel Tower framed in electric blue:

"The display was so breathtaking (my first actually) that I almost forgot to watch the fireworks," he says.

Noctilucent clouds are seldom seen as far south as France--not to mention seen through fireworks. But the display wasn't over when Bastille Day ended. By sunrise on July 15th, the mysterious clouds had invaded the United States. Mike Hollingshead sends this photo from Blair, Nebraska:

"I've never seen noctilucent clouds before, even though I am often out looking," he says. "These were wonderful." Similar reports have poured in from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, central California and possibly northern Nevada.

These sightings are significant because they come from places so far south. When noctilucent clouds first appeared in the late 19th century, they were confined to latitudes above 50o N (usually far above). The latitude of Blair, Nebraska, is only 41°30' N. No one knows why NLCs are expanding their range in this way; it's one of many unanswered questions about the mysterious clouds.

Last night's apparition is a call to sky watchers at all latitudes: Be alert for NLCs! Observing tips may be found in the photo gallery.

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


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 July 15, 2009 there were 1065 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 MM8
July 13
11.4 LD
18
53 m
2008 NP3
July 18
11.8 LD
18
87 m
2006 TU7
July 20
14.2 LD
17
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 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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