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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 409.2 km/sec
density: 10.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
2209 UT Mar27
24-hr: C5
0308 UT Mar27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Mar 12
None of these sunspots pose a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 56
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Mar 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 26 Mar 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 102 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Mar 2012

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: 11.3 nT
Bz: 4.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Mar 12
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth at the end of March. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Mar 27 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
35 %
CLASS X
05 %
05 %
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 Mar 27 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
15 %
05 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
35 %
SEVERE
50 %
30 %
 
Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2012
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

 
Own your own meteorite

GEOMAGNETIC OUTLOOK: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% to 45% chance of strong geomagnetic storms around the poles on March 28-29 in response to an incoming solar wind stream. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, phone.

ATREX EXPERIMENT LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT SKY: Before sunrise on March 27th, sky watchers up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States witnessed a strange apparition. A quintet of milky-white plumes appeared in the night sky, twisting in the winds at the edge of space. "It was pretty unreal and very exciting to see," says eye-witness Jack Fusco, who sends this picture from Seaside Park in New Jersey:

The plumes were chemical tracers (trimethyl aluminum) deposited in the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere by five rockets launched rapid-fire from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The goal of the experiment, named ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment), is to study 3D turbulence in the thermosphere.

"We saw the rockets lift off and then slowly release their chemicals, creating trails in the sky," reports Alice B. of Loudoun County, Virginia. "We could also see what I assume were the rocket remnants falling back to Earth."

"Once the chemical tracers from the rockets were released, the view was amazing," adds Bryan Lauber of Frenchtown, NJ. "The tracers were extremely bright and seemed to just fall out of the sky!"

more images: from Jeff Berkes of West Chester, PA; from Ray Maher of Maurice River Township, N.J; from Mark A. Brown of Carlisle, PA; from Robert T. Smith of Stoneville, NC; from Rich McPeters near Annapolis, Maryland; from Cliff Baldwin of Aquebogue, NY; from David Murr of Louisa, Virginia; from Jim Scott of Fleetwood, PA;

ANOTHER CME FROM SUNSPOT AR1429: Transiting the farside of the sun, never-say-die sunspot AR1429 erupted during the late hours of March 26th, producing its 11th major CME. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) photographed the cloud flying over the sun's eastern limb:

According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the CME will hit two spacecraft, STEREO-B and Spitzer, on March 28th. Earth is not in the line of fire.

This event shows that AR1429, the source of several strong geomagnetic storms in early March, is still active. It will begin turning back toward our planet about a week from now. Stay tuned.

ROBOT SPACESHIP CHASES ISS: Europe's robotic supply ship, the Edoardo Amaldi (ATV-3), is chasing the International Space Station (ISS) around Earth. Marco Langbroek saw it at daybreak on March 24th flying over the rooftops of his neighborhood in Leiden, the Netherlands:

"The ATV-3 was very bright and easily visible to the naked-eye, nothwithstanding the bright twilight (the sun was less than 7o below the horizon)," says Langbroek. "It was about magnitude 0 to -1.5, and somewhat orange in color. A video of the flyby may be found here."

Launched on March 23rd laden with almost 7000 lb of supplies, the cargo carrier is expected to dock with the ISS on March 28th. As the two spacecraft converge, it might be possible to see them both in the sky at once. Check SpaceWeather.com's Simple Satellite Tracker or your cell phone to see if you are favored with a double flyby.


February 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 March 27, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 FT35
Mar 24
1.9 LD
--
6 m
2012 FZ23
Mar 25
52.8 LD
--
1.2 km
2012 FU23
Mar 25
3.1 LD
--
14 m
2012 FP35
Mar 26
0.4 LD
--
12 m
2012 FS35
Mar 26
0.2 LD
--
4 m
2012 FV23
Mar 30
6.6 LD
--
36 m
2012 EG5
Apr 1
0.6 LD
--
60 m
2012 FW35
Apr 1
8.3 LD
--
23 m
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
--
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
--
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
--
43 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
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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