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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 346.6 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
1910 UT Oct16
24-hr: M1
1910 UT Oct16
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 16 Oct 10
Sunspot 1112 is rooting a large magnetic filament to the surface of the sun. If it explodes, the filament could erupt as well. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movie: 8 MB mpg
Sunspot number: 51
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Oct 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 45 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 813 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 15 Oct 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 82 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 15 Oct 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.6 nT
Bz: 2.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 16 Oct 10
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Oct. 19th or 20th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Oct 16 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
25 %
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: 2010 Oct 16 2200 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 %
 
Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010
What's up in space
 

ON SALE NOW: The David H. Levy Comet Hunter -- offering the clearest views of Comet Hartley 2.

 

SOLAR FLARE! Sunspot 1112 erupted today at 1900 UT, producing the brightest solar flare in nearly three months. Click here to view a movie of the M1-class explosion from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

GREAT FILAMENT: A vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the sun's southern hemisphere today. Run a finger along the golden-brown line in this extreme UV image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and your digit will have traveled more than 400,000 km:

A bright 'hot spot' just north of the filament's midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If the sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt.

UPDATE: Today's M1-flare did not destabilize the filament. Stay tuned, however, because sunspot 1112 is growing and more activity is possible in the hours ahead. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from Eric Roel of Valle de Bravo, México; from Francois Rouviere of Mougins, France; from Jo Dahlmans & Wouter Verhesen of Limburg, The Netherlands; from John Nassr of Baguio, Philippines; from Enrico Colzani of Sormano Astronomical Observatory, Italy; from Stephen Ramsden of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, Atlanta, GA; from Jean-Pierre Brahic of Uzès, France;

TIME TO SEE COMET HARTLEY: For backyard stargazers, the next few nights are the best time to see green Comet 103P/Hartley 2 as it approaches Earth for an 11-million-mile close encounter on Oct. 20th. Set your alarm for the dark hours before dawn, go outside, and look straight up. You will find Hartley 2 not far from the bright star Capella: sky map. Although the comet is barely visible to the unaided eye, it is easy to find in binoculars and looks great through a backyard telescope.

Doug Zubenel sends this picture (Oct. 9) from the Monument Rocks National Landmark in Kansas:

"To photograph the comet, I used a Canon Rebel XTi digital camera with an 85mm Nikkor lens," says Zubenel. "This picture is a single 2-minute exposure begun with the lens focused on the rocks, with a quick flash, then focus-shifted to infinity for the remainder of the time at ISO 800."

NASA scientists say 103P/Hartley 2 is one of the most active comets they've seen; it has a big atmosphere and copious outgassing from jets in the nucleus. Amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor the action and submit their images here.

more images: from Rolando Ligustri using a robotic telescope in New Mexico; from Mike Broussard of Maurice, Louisiana; from Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway; from Tamás Ábrahám of Zsámbék, Hungary; from Efrain Morales Rivera of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Nick Howes using the Faulkes North Telescope in Hawaii.


October 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Octobers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001]

  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 October 16, 2010 there were 1155 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 TQ19
Oct 8
9.6 LD
18
37 m
2010 TS19
Oct 10
3.7 LD
18
31 m
2010 TD54
Oct 12
0.1 LD
14
7 m
2010 TB54
Oct 13
6.1 LD
20
19 m
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
16
1.8 km
2010 TK
Oct 16
4.5 LD
18
37 m
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
13
5.2 km
2010 TG19
Oct 22
1.1 LD
15
70 m
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
15
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
39.2 LD
15
1.1 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
12
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
14
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
17
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
21
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
16
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
-
1.5 km
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
13
1.3 km
2008 EA32
Jan 7
76.5 LD
-
2.1 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
Science Central
   
  more links...
 
 
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