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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 292.7 km/sec
density: 2.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1505 UT Jul13
24-hr: C2
1050 UT Jul13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jul 10
Sunspot 1087 has a "beta-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for C-class solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 22
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 July 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (18%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 12 July 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 80 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 July 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.4 nT
Bz: 2.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should hit Earth's magnetic field on July 13th or 14th. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jul 13 2201 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: 2010 Jul 13 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
35 %
25 %
10 %
05 %
06 %
02 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
50 %
30 %
20 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
What's up in Space
July 13, 2010

ANDROID FLYBYS: Our field-tested satellite tracker is now available for Android phones. Features: Global predictions and flyby alarms! Learn more.


WHAT LIES INSIDE LUNAR PITS? Newly-discovered pits on the Moon could be entrances to a geologic wonderland of underground caves and tunnels. Researchers discuss the possibilities in today's story from Science@NASA.

MAGNIFICENT ACTIVE REGION: Sunspot 1087 has a magnetic canopy that can only be described as magnificent. It's on full display in today's extreme ultraviolet image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Note the inset. The active region could swallow our planet ten times over and still have room to spare. Fortunately, we're 93 million miles away. We could still feel the effects of an eruption, however. The thicket of magnetic loops and filaments harbors energy for M-class solar flares. M-flares can heat and puff up Earth's upper atmosphere, causing satellites to experience extra drag as they orbit our planet; they can also cause waves of ionization to ripple around the planet, disrupting radio communications. There haven't been any big eruptions yet, but the magnificent magnetic field of sunspot 1087 has been restless, as shown in this time-lapse movie spanning four days.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN: At the end of Sunday's total solar eclipse, amateur astronomer Daniel Fischer of Germany, who traveled halfway around the world to experience the event, found himself inside the Moon's shadow just as it was about to lift off Earth. At almost the last possible moment, he snapped this picture:

"The shadow of the Moon sweeping over Patagonia in southern Argentina plunged the snowy steppe east of El Calafate into darkness just before sunset on 11 July 2010," says Fischer. "The sharp delineation of the Moon's shadow in the sky stunned everyone."

"There had been little advance news coverage of the eclipse in Argentina, probably because it coincided with the final game of the World Cup," he continues. "It was mainly individual eclipse chasers and tour groups from distant countries who converged here for a totality practically at sunset, something few have ever seen."

"We assembled at a mirador--a small parking lot beside Route 11 with a good view of the Andes. And then the shadow came, racing towards us with supersonic speed, almost grazing the Earth's surface and about to lift off into space again after having swept through a vast stretch of the Pacific Ocean in the hours past. In a short time we witnessed every phase of the eclipse in the unusually clear Patagonian sky. No one present will ever forget it," he says.

Browse the gallery for more tales from the path of totality.

Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: South Pacific Eclipse] [animated map] [details]

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 July 13, 2010 there were 1138 potentially hazardous asteroids.
July-Oct 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 NG
Jul 13
5.7 LD
41 m
1999 JD6
Jul 27
53.9 LD
1.8 km
6239 Minos
Aug 10
38.3 LD
1.1 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 14
60.5 LD
1.3 km
2002 CY46
Sep 2
63.8 LD
2.4 km
2010 LY63
Sep 7
55.8 LD
1.3 km
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
2.1 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
595 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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