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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 471.5 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Apr09
24-hr: A0
0710 UT Apr09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Apr 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 Apr 2009

NEW: Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 14 days
2009 total: 86 days (87%)
Since 2004: 597 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 09 Apr 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.9 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Apr 09 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: 2009 Apr 09 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
10 %
10 %
01 %
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
April 9, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.


AURORA WATCH: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras tonight and tomorrow. A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and this could spark magnetic storms around the Arctic Circle: gallery.

SPROUTING GRASS MOON: According to folklore, tonight's full Moon is the "Sprouting Grass Moon"--so-called because it shines down on the sprouting grasses of northern Spring. Some of those young blades are silhouetted beautifully in this photo taken hours ago by Elias Chasiotis of Keratea, Greece:

"We had a very beautiful moonrise tonight," says Chasiotis. "The Moon was dimmed by thin clouds, so I set my Canon EOS 450D at ISO 400 and it worked perfectly."

more images: from Dennis Put of Brielle, Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands; from Doug Zubenel of Lenexa, Kansas; from Abraham Tamas of Zsámbék, Hungary

3DEEP MINIMUM: "When the sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly 100 years, solar photographers have to get creative," says Greg Piepol of Rockville, Maryland. "Yesterday, I photographed the sun using a Lunt Solar Systems LS100 and rendered it as a 3D anaglyph." Put on your red-blue glasses and behold the composition Piepol calls 3Deep Minimum:

Click to view the full-sized anaglyph

If you don't have 3D glasses, you can use your imagination. It looks like a ball. Of course, the sun has more relief when sunspots are present. Browse Piepol's 3D archives to see what's missing.

Explore the Sunspot Cycle

UPDATED: April 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

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 9, 2009 there were 1050 potentially hazardous asteroids.
April 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 FU30
Apr. 2
8.8 LD
44 m
2004 VC
Apr. 3
51.3 LD
785 m
2002 EB3
Apr. 10
41.3 LD
1.3 km
2003 SG170
Apr. 19
57.7 LD
1.2 km
2009 FJ30
Apr. 24
9.7 LD
130 m
2001 VG5
Apr. 26
58.5 LD
2.1 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 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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