You are viewing the page for Jan. 13, 2010
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 513.1 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1935 UT Jan13
24-hr: B2
1505 UT Jan13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jan. 10
Sunspot 1040 (a.k.a. old sunspot 1035) is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 35
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Jan 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 1 day (8%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 12 Jan 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 93 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Jan 2010

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= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.1 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jan 13 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
25 %
25 %
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 Jan 13 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
January 13, 2010

SATELLITE FLYBYS APP: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested satellite tracker! presents the Satellite Flybys app.


2010 AL30 UPDATE: An orbital analysis by Michael Khan of the European Space Agency suggests that 2010 AL30 could be the Fregat upper stage of the Soyuz launch vehicle that launched the Venus Express probe in Nov. 2005: full story.

ASTEROID FLYBY: Is it an asteroid or a derelict spacecraft? Mystery object 2010 AL30 is flew past Earth last night only 1/3rd the distance to the Moon, and telescopes around the world were watching. In Colombia, amateur astronomer Alberto Quijano Vodniza used a 14-inch Meade LX200 to record the close approach:

"2010 AL30 is the faint streak moving among the stars," says Vodniza. "The full-length animation reveals a second much brighter object. That's a satellite that happened to be passing by at the same time." Space is a busy place, it seems.

Discovered barely three days ago, 2010 AL30 is catalogued as a 10m-class asteroid. Curiously, however, its elliptical orbit has a period of almost exactly one year, the same as Earth. This raises the possibility that it might be a piece of some spacecraft from our own planet. NASA's Goldstone radar in the Mojave desert was scheduled to ping 2010 AL30 between 2:20 and 4:40 UTC on Jan. 13th. The echoes should reveal the nature of this interesting passerby.

WIDE SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1040 has grown so large (ten times wider than Earth) that only a fraction of it fits on the page. Click on the image for the big picture:

Dennis Simmons sends the image from Brisbane, Australia, where a short spell of exceptionally steady air this morning allowed him to capture the sunspot with superb clarity. "After the software had processed my data, I was left gasping, astonished by what the seeing had allowed me to witness. This is far and away my best-ever high-resolution image of a sunspot."

This sunspot is a fantastic target for backyard solar telescopes. If you have one, take a look!

more images: from Francois Rouviere of Mougins, Alpes Maritimes, France; from Paul Haese of Blackwood, South Australia; from Pavol Rapavy of Observatory Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from Paul Maxson of Surprise, Arizona; from M. Jennings, K. Ritchie, J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine

January Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Januarys: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001]

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 13, 2010 there were 1092 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 AL2
Jan. 11
11.5 LD
23 m
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
1.1 km
2010 AL30
Jan. 13
0.3 LD
18 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.













©2019 All rights reserved.