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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 333.7 km/sec
density: 12.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1945 UT Sep20
24-hr: C1
1945 UT Sep20
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 20 Sept 10
There is a small chance of C-class solar flares from sunspot 1108. Credit: SDO/HMI. Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 50
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 19 Sep 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 41 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 809 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 19 Sep 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 19 Sep 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.1 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 20 Sept 10
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth around Sept. 22nd. Credit: SDO/AIA
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Sep 20 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 Sep 20 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
30 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
35 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Monday, Sep. 20, 2010
What's up in space
 

AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE

 

CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH JUPITER: Tonight, Earth and Jupiter converge for their closest encounter until 2022. The giant planet will soar overhead at midnight, outshining everything except the Moon itself. At this time, even a small telescope pointed at Jupiter will reveal the planet's moons, cloud belts and swirling storms. Take a look!

If Jupiter is up at midnight, it must be opposite the sun: diagram. Indeed, astronomers call this "Jupiter's night of opposition." The effect of opposition may be seen in the shadow of Jupiter's moon Io, shown here in a photo taken last night by Anthony Wesley of Australia:

"Io was almost on top of its own shadow," points out Wesley. "This is due to the near-perfect alignment of Jupiter, Earth and the sun."

In a coincidence of interplanetary proportions, Uranus is also at opposition tonight. This rare double opposition of two giant planets is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Unlike Jupiter, Uranus is barely visible to the naked eye, a result of its smaller size and greater distance. It looks great, however, through a small telescope. Just point your optics at Jupiter and you will find emerald Uranus about 1o away.

more images: from Alan Friedman at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in California; from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Efrain Morales Rivera of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; from Jerôme Grenier of Paris, France; from Frank Olsen of Tromvik, Norway; from Jimmy Eubanks of Boiling Springs, SC; from Mark Humpage of Lutterworth, UK; from P. Nikolakakos of Sparta, Greece;

SPACE STATION RADAR ECHO: The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar is scanning the skies above the USA for Earth-orbiting objects. Yesterday, Sept. 19th at 16:09 UT, the International Space Station flew through the radar's primary beam, producing a strong echo. Click on the dynamic spectrum to listen:

The sound you just heard came from the loudspeaker of a receiver in Roswell, New Mexico, operated by radio engineer Stan Nelson. "The ISS was passing over Lubbock, Texas--midway between me and the Air Force radar," he says. "It was the perfect geometry for catching the echo."

As the ISS raced through the radar beam at 17,000 mph, its velocity vector rotated with respect to the transmitter below. That's why the echo sounds like the frequency-shifting whistle of a passing train. It's the Doppler effect, working in space the same way it does on Earth.

The space station will be making more passes through the radar beam in the days ahead. Next up: Sept. 24 @ 2142 UT (1642 CDT). Tune in to SpaceWeather Radio for live echoes.


UPDATED: Sept. 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000]

  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 September 20, 2010 there were 1145 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 RF12
Sep 8
0.2 LD
28
9 m
2010 RJ53
Sep 9
8 LD
24
69 m
2010 RS80
Sep 9
2.2 LD
26
23 m
2010 RM82
Sep 10
2.2 LD
26
31 m
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
25
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
17
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
18
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
18
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
17
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
15
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
17
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
18
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
19
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
16
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
18
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
28
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
18
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
17
1.5 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
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
 
 
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