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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 378.0 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A4
1920 UT Mar08
24-hr: A4
1920 UT Mar08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Mar. 10
The Earth-facing side of the sun is blank---no sunspots. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Mar 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 2 days
2010 total: 3 days (5%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 773 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 07 Mar 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 77 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 Mar 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Mar 08 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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 Mar 08 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
March 8, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.


AURORA SEASON: Northern spring is approaching, and that means it's aurora season. For reasons researchers don't fully understand, the weeks around equinoxes are twice as likely as other times of the year to have geomagnetic storms. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for Northern Lights.

SOLAR FILAMENTS: Today,astronomers around the world are monitoring a pair of dark magnetic filaments on the sun. Rogerio Marcon sends this composite image from his backyard observatory in Campinas, Brasil:

The largest filament, which is curling over the sun's northeastern limb, stretches at least 50,000 km from end to end. SOHO has been monitoring the plasma-filled behemoth for more than three days: movie. How long can this filament hold itself up? If it collapses and hits the stellar surface, the impact could produce a powerful Hyder flare. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from Mike Borman of Evansville, Indiana; from David Gradwell of Near Birr Ireland; from Malcolm Park of London UK; from James Kevin Ty of Manila , Philippines; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, KY; from Davide Cirioni of Cilavegna, Italy; from Fabio Mariuzza of Biauzzo - Italy; from Bavais Joel of Ath, Belgium; from Alan Friedman of downtown Buffalo, NY; from Brian Woosnam of North Wales UK; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from S. Barube and J. Stetson of S.Portland, Maine; from Greg Piepol of Rockville, Md

VENUS IS BACK: No, it's not an airplane or a UFO. That bright light you see tonight shining through the rosy glow of sunset is Venus, returning to the evening sky after a long absence. The view from the Netherlands on March 7th was electric:

"I combined several shots of Venus setting to make this composite image," says photographer "Neo" of Venlo. "It was a beautiful sight."

Readers, look low and west at sunset. Venus pops out of the twilight long before the sky fades to black. The Evening Star has returned!

more images: from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Stefano De Rosa of Turin (Italy); from Doug Zubenel of Kansas City Missouri; from Dennis Put of Brielle, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands; from Kevin Jung of East of Lowell, Michigan; from Christopher Calubaquib of El Sobrante, California;

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 8, 2010 there were 1106 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 PT9
March 3
11.1 LD
305 m
4486 Mithra
March 12
73.5 LD
3.3 km
2001 FM129
March 13
44.1 LD
1.5 km
2002 TE66
March 28
48.0 LD
940 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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