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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 466.3 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A4
1830 UT Apr01
24-hr: A6
0900 UT Apr01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Apr. 10
Sunspot 1057 is in a state of continued decay. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 23
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Mar 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 6 days (7%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 776 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 31 Mar 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Mar 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.9 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on April 5th or 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Apr 01 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 Apr 01 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
April 1, 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.


SPACE POPULATION EXPLOSION: The population of the International Space Station is about to increase more than fourfold. Currently there are three people onboard the ISS. On April 2nd, the Russian Space Agency will launch a Soyuz spacecraft containing three more. And then on April 5th, space shuttle Discovery will lift off with an additional seven. After the Soyuz and shuttle reach the ISS, there will be 13 people living in space for more than a week, matching the space population record set twice before in March 1995 and July 2009. Thirteen up, 6.8 billion to go....

SOLAR PROMINENCE: Today, amateur astronomers around the world are monitoring a huge prominence rising over the sun's northeastern limb. It's so big, it won't fit in the space provided. Click on the image below to see the entire arch:

Eric Roel took the picture just hours ago from his backyard observatory in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Since then, the view has changed. Magnetic fields underpinning this magnificent structure are in a state of fairly rapid motion, pulling the plasma to and fro, offering a different profile to every observer. The whole thing could become unstable and collapse. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

more images: from Andy Devey of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany;

SUNSET PLANETS: If you haven't looked at the sunset recently, you're missing a good show. Mercury and Venus are converging there for a bright conjunction:

"This is the first time I have seen Mercury," says Anton, who took the picture in Port Provideniya, Chukotka, Russia. "It was very clear and easy to see."

At closest approach on April 3rd and 4th, the two planets will be only three degrees apart--an eye-catching pair. Look before the sky fades to black. Two bright planets framed by deep twilight blue is a beautiful sight indeed. Sky maps: April 3, 4.

more images: from Eduardo Barioni of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba; from Mahdi Zamani of Qeshm island, Persian gulf, Iran; from Adrian New of San Antonio, Texas; from Jeff Green of Nashville, TN; from Paco Bellido of Córdoba, Spain; from Ramon Lane of Torrevieja, Spain;

March Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Marches: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

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 April 1, 2010 there were 1110 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
2010 FU9
March 18
1.5 LD
19 m
2010 EF43
March 18
5.0 LD
23 m
2010 FT
March 27
5.5 LD
33 m
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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