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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 298.2 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B5
2120 UT Jan22
24-hr: B7
1033 UT Jan22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 22 Jan 13
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 50
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 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

22 Jan 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Jan 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 0
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 1.8 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2010 UT
Coronal Holes: 21 Jan 13
Solar wind flowing from this southern coronal hole should read Earth approximately five days from now. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Jan 22 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 22 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013
What's up in space

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

Metallic pictures of the Sun

QUIET SUN: With the departure of sunspot AR1654, a new spell of low solar activity is underway. NOAA forecasters put the odds of a strong solar flare today at less than 5%. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

LUNAR ECLIPSE OF JUPITER: Last night, the Moon passed by Jupiter only a fraction of a degree away. In parts of South America, the close encounter was so close, it became an eclipse. Luis Argerich sends this photo from Buenos Aires, Argentina:

"I captured half a Jupiter floating next to the Moon with my telescope as the occultation was in progress," says Argerich. "It was incredible to see Jupiter disappear behind the Moon's dark limb."

Another occultation of Jupiter is less than a month away. The people of southern Australia will see it on Feb. 18th. Meanwhile, browse the photo gallery for more shots of last night's display.

Realtime Moon-Jupiter 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 for their Monday conjunction, 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

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of Jan. 19th, producing Northern Lights so bright, they woke up the Arctic fox:

Vladimir Scheglov sends the picture from the Kupol mine in the Chukotka region of Russia. "The Kupol mine has banned hunting, so wild animals are not afraid of people," he explains.

More lights are possible on Jan. 23th when a negative-polarity solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 20% chance of polar geomagnetic storms. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

Realtime Space Weather 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 22, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2013 AP72
Jan 16
1.9 LD
20 m
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
3752 Camillo
Feb 12
57.5 LD
3.4 km
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
2010 GM23
Apr 13
3.9 LD
50 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 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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