You are viewing the page for Mar. 3, 2011
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 630.8 km/sec
density: 0.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1803 UT Mar03
24-hr: C5
1420 UT Mar03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Mar 11
Emerging sunspot 1166 is big, but does it pose a threat for strong flares? The current side-view yields little information about the active region's magnetic field. Stay tuned for updates as the 'spot turns more squarely toward Earth. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 83
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Mar 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (2%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 02 Mar 2011

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 113 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Mar 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.6 nT
Bz: 0.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Mar 11
Earth is insie a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Mar 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
35 %
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: 2011 Mar 03 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
20 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
25 %
15 %
10 %
10 %
10 %
Thursday, Mar. 3, 2011
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. They make a unique Valentine's gift.

Own your own meteorite

MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SUNSPOTS, SOLVED? Two years ago when solar activity plunged into a century-class minimum, many experts were puzzled. Now a group of researchers say they have cracked the mystery of the missing sunspots. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SUNSPOT SUNSET: The sun isn't blank any more. Just look at the sunset. Photographer Jens Hackmann sends this example from Weikersheim, Germany, on March 1st:

"Because of high moisture in the air, the sunset was spectacular--and then it got even better," he says. "As the sun sank toward the treeline, sunspot 1164 popped into view." Hackmann's two-minute movie of the "sunspot sunset" is a must-see.

The primary dark core of sunspot 1164 is three times wider than Earth itself. This makes it an easy target for backyard telescopes equipped with solar filters. Moreover, the sunspot's magnetic field is unstable and harbors energy for X-class solar flares. The next sunspot sunset could be a lively one! Stay tuned.

more images: from Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland; from Michael Buxton of Ocean Beach, California; from Pavol Rapavy of Observatory Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from David Cortner of Rutherford College, NC

3D SPACE STATION MOVIE: On Feb. 28th, black belt astrophotographer Thierry Legault recorded another flyby of the International Space Station over Weimar, Germany--and this time it's in 3D. Cross your eyes and click on the stereo pair to set the scene in motion:

Space shutttle Discovery is docked to the ISS and at the beginning of the video "it is possible to see inside the shuttle's payload bay," notes Legault. That's high resolution. How does he do it? Believe it or not, these images come from a garden-variety backyard telescope. The tracking, however, is out of this world.

more images: from Martin Lewis of St Albans, UK; from Jacob Kuiper of Steenwijk, The Netherlands; from Alan Friedman of Knights Key Resort and Marina, Marathon, Florida

NanoSail-D Photo Gallery
[NASA: Solar Sail Stunner] [Photo Contest]

February 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Februaries: 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 3, 2011 there were 1203 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2011 EB
Feb 26
2.4 LD
18 m
2011 DQ
Feb 26
9.7 LD
26 m
2011 DT9
Feb 27
9 LD
39 m
2011 DE5
Mar 1
4.9 LD
22 m
2011 DW4
Mar 3
6.9 LD
15 m
2011 EC
Mar 6
9.2 LD
33 m
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
2.6 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
9 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
48 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 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
  more links...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
Spaceweather Flybys

©2019 All rights reserved.