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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 281.3 km/sec
density: 2.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2122 UT Jan23
24-hr: B6
0127 UT Jan23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Jan 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 53
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Jan 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
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

23 Jan 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 110 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Jan 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.7 nT
Bz: 3.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Jan 13
Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 26-27. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Jan 23 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
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: 2013 Jan 23 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
25 %
15 %
25 %
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013
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

SLIM CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of M-class solar flares and a mere 1% chance of X-flares today. The probable source would be sunspot AR1660, which is almost directly facing Earth. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

FILAMENT ERUPTIONS: Two long filaments of solar magnetism have erupted on the sun today, Jan. 23rd, hurling bright coronal mass ejections into space. This one passed directly in front of Mercury:

A second CME sailed high over the sun's north pole: image. Earth was not in the line of fire of either eruption.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the eruption that hurled the CME in front of Mercury. Click to set the scene in motion:

These events show that sunspots are not required for solar activity. Neither of the filaments that erupted on Jan. 23rd were rooted in a sunspot's dark core. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

SOUTHERN CORONAL HOLE: A hole in the sun's atmosphere--a "coronal hole"--has opened up in the sun's southern hemisphere, and it is spewing a stream of solar wind into space. Extreme UV cameras onboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the dark gap during the early hours of Jan. 23rd:

Coronal holes are places in the sun's atmosphere where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this particular coronal hole should reach Earth's orbit on Jan. 26-27. Whether it will actually hit our planet is unknown. Because of the coronal hole's high southern latitude, the solar wind it emits might miss our planet, sailing high over our own South Pole. High-latitude sky watchers should nevertheless remain alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

AWASH IN JUPITER RADIO BURSTS: The planet Jupiter is a powerful source of shortwave radio bursts. They come from natural radio lasers in the giant planet's polar magnetosphere that sometimes sweep past Earth as Jupiter rotates. On Jan. 21st, as Jupiter and the Moon were converging high in the midnight sky, a series of Jupiter's radio laser beams hit Earth. Amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded the static-y sounds coming from the loudspeaker of his shortwave radio telescope in New Mexico:

Dynamic spectrum courtesy of Wes Greenman, Radio Alachua Observatory

"Sometimes when people are outside Jupiter-gazing they might also be awash in Jovian radio beam sweeps and not know it," says Ashcraft. "On Sunday, a Jovian radio storm produced a few minutes of strong radio waves. As I was outside my observatory looking up at Jupiter I was also hearing the waves on my radio telescope speakers and realized that my own body was, in that moment, being bathed in electromagnetic beams from Jupiter. What a nice feeling!"

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet 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 January 23, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 BQ18
Jan 18
8.8 LD
38 m
2013 AT72
Jan 20
9.9 LD
63 m
2013 BT15
Jan 20
4.6 LD
15 m
1999 HA2
Feb 5
58 LD
1.3 km
2013 BS45
Feb 12
4.9 LD
31 m
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
2013 BV15
Feb 13
3.7 LD
62 m
1999 YK5
Feb 15
49.1 LD
2.1 km
2012 DA14
Feb 15
0.09 LD
58 m
2009 AV
Feb 25
59.7 LD
1.0 km
2007 EO88
Mar 18
4.4 LD
23 m
1993 UC
Mar 20
49 LD
3.8 km
1997 AP10
Mar 28
45.9 LD
1.8 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
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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