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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 290.8 km/sec
density: 3.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2340 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2209 UT Jan26
24-hr: B3
0211 UT Jan26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jan 11
Departing sunspot complex 1147-1149 poses a slight threat for C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 27
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jan 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (4%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 25 Jan 2011

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jan 2011

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: 3.2 nT
Bz: 2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2341 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Jan 10
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jan 26 2200 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: 2011 Jan 26 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011
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

DEPARTING SUNSPOTS: The northwestern limb of the sun is hopping as twin sunspots 1147-1149 approach the horizon. Reader with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the region. They might see something like this.

GREEN SNOW: "Last night (Jan. 25th) was amazing. It was the first time in my life I have seen auroras so bright and clear," reports Bjarki Mikkelsen from a little Arctic village in northern Sweden. The display was so intense, even the snow turned green:

"I also thought I could hear a strange sound coming from the Northern Lights," he adds. "I've decided to stay here to get another chance to experience this again."

Another chance is in the offing. A coronal hole in the sun's eastern hemisphere is spewing a stream of solar wind, due to hit Earth about a week from now. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on Feb 1st or 2nd.

January 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]

3D CORONAL HOLE: Spin it, zoom it, dive right into it. Using NASA's 3D Sun app, you can not only view features anywhere on the sun, but also interact with them. Here is a screenshot of today's big eastern coronal hole:

Cartoon spacecraft in the image mark the locations of NASA's twin STEREO probes. Stationed on nearly-opposite sides of the sun, STEREO-A and -B can see 98% of the stellar surface. The two probes beam their green extreme ultraviolet images to Earth--and right into your iPhone or iPad. The sun you spin is the realtime sun! Download it now. (It's free.)

Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse]

  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 January 26, 2011 there were 1184 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2011 AN52
Jan 17
0.8 LD
9 m
2011 AB37
Jan 19
9.5 LD
29 m
2011 BY10
Jan 20
0.9 LD
18 m
2011 BW10
Jan 20
8.3 LD
39 m
2011 AL37
Jan 26
2.2 LD
62 m
2011 BF10
Jan 30
9.3 LD
15 m
2003 YG118
Feb 20
67.7 LD
1.8 km
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
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
Science Central
  more links...
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
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