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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 439.7 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C4
1958 UT Aug29
24-hr: C4
1958 UT Aug29
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 29 Aug 12
None of these sunspots poses a significant threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 73
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Aug 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

Update 29 Aug 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Aug 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= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 29 Aug 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Aug 29 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
15 %
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: 2012 Aug 29 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
20 %
SEVERE
05 %
20 %
 
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

QUIET SUN: Another day, another .... moment of silence? For the 5th day in a row, solar activity is low. None of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun is actively flaring, and the sun's X-ray output has nearly flatlined.

SUMMER AURORAS: "Aurora season is back here in the Northwest Territories of Canada," reports Francis Anderson of Tuktoyaktuk NWT. "Although it does not get completely dark yet, the northern lights are once again visible. This first photo of the aurora was taken on August 25th from atop a pingo with a fairly large cumulonimbus cloud towards the southern horizon, which was flashing lightning every five or so minutes." (continued below)

"One of the warmest days I have ever shot the aurora, it was +16C at the time and +23C earlier that day," continues Anderson. "I'm looking forward to clear skies in the months ahead for an even better view of the Northern Lights."

He might not have to wait months. A medium-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field now, and this could stir up more Arctic lights tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of geomagnetic activity. Aurora alerts: text, phone.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

THE SCALE OF THINGS: For the past few days, amateur astronomers have been monitoring a big cloud of plasma hovering above the sun's eastern horizon. How big is it? Göran Strand of Frösön, Sweden, superposed the Earth and moon on a picture he took yesterday to show the scale of things:

"It was an amazing view through my binoviewer," says Strand. "I placed the Earth and moon at their correct separation: 384,400 km apart. This is one big prominence."

The cloud is held aloft by solar magnetic fields. If those fields become unstable then the cloud could collapse, hitting the stellar surface and producing a Hyder flare. Amateur astronomers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

Realtime Space Weather 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 August 29, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 QH14
Aug 25
3.5 LD
--
15 m
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
--
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.0 km
2012 QZ16
Aug 30
7 LD
--
33 m
2012 QG42
Sep 14
7.4 LD
--
370 m
2012 QC8
Sep 14
22.7 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 km
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.5 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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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