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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 480.5 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1756 UT Aug27
24-hr: B9
0821 UT Aug27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Aug 12
None of these sunspots poses a significant threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 78
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 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 27 Aug 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 113 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 27 Aug 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.1 nT
Bz: 0.4 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 27 Aug 12
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Aug 27 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
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 27 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
25 %
25 %
25 %
25 %
Monday, Aug. 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

QUIET SUN: Except for some minor rumblings on the sun's northeastern limb, solar activity is very low. The sun's X-ray output has nearly flatlined and NOAA forcasters put the odds of a major flare today at less than 10%.

FAST-MOVING SUNSPOT: Today in the blue skies above Scarborough Marsh, Maine, a dark-winged shape flitted across the face of the sun. It was the International Space Station:

"The ISS cut across the sun, transiting the entire solar disk in only 7/10th of a second," says amateur astronomer John Stetson who photographed the passage with split-second timing. "In today's transit the ISS appeared to be 54 arc seconds in angular diameter." In other words, it subtended an angle about the same as the planet Jupiter. Because the ISS is so large, it is possible to see the details of its structure through backyard telescopes. Here's a telescope that works both during the day and at night.

Stetson notes that is this a good week for ISS flybys of the United States. When it is not transiting the sun, the space station typically appears in the evening sky shining as brightly as Venus or Jupiter. A transit of the entire sky takes about five minutes, so finding and tracking the behemoth spacecraft is easy if you know when to look. ISS flyby alerts: text, phone (Note to subscribers: Select the "backyard astronomy" option.)

WATCH OUT FOR MOONDOGS: The moon is waxing full this week, which means it's a great time to look out for moondogs. They appear 23 degrees from the moon, splashes of light shining with the colors of a rainbow, but they are not rainbows. Barry Starling of Histon UK photgraphed this specimen on August 25th:

Unlike rainbows, which are caused by raindrops, moondogs are caused by ice crystals. Even during the summer, high clouds are cold enough for water in them to crystallize. When moonlight shines through the icy clouds, voila!--a moondog. High-altitude ice crystals can also make moon haloes and pillars, so watch out for them, too.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Aurora 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 27, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 QV17
Aug 24
9.1 LD
42 m
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 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.
  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
Trade Show Displays
  more links...
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