You are viewing the page for Apr. 23, 2009
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 329.0 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Apr23
24-hr: A0
0040 UT Apr23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Apr 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Apr 2009

NEW: Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 1 days
2009 total: 98 days (88%)
Since 2004: 609 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 22 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= 2
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.2 nT
Bz: 0.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Apr 23 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 23 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
April 23, 2009

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


LYRID METEOR UPDATE: Yesterday, April 22nd, Earth passed through a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher, and the encounter sparked the annual Lyrid meteor shower. According to the International Meteor Organization, rates peaked at 16 meteors per hour--not an intense display. Nevertheless, a number of pleasingly bright Lyrids were photographed by spaceweather readers.

BIG DISTRACTION: Maybe so few Lyrids were counted because observers were distracted by something else. During the shower's peak, Venus and the Moon converged for a spellbinding encounter so bright it was visible through clouds in broad daylight:

Stan Richard took the picture (and others) from suburban Des Moines, Iowa. "Fortunately," he says, "the clouds parted just in time for me to catch the Moon passing directly in front of Venus." The eclipse was widely seen and photographed from western parts of North America. Click on the links below for a sampling of the best shots.

more images: from Bret Dahl of Plano, Texas; from Antonio Estrada of Toluca, México; a movie from John McNair of Monument, Colorado; from Mark Seibold of Portland Oregon; from Jorge Figueroa of Guatemala; from Kevin Jung of Grand Rapids, Michigan; from Friedrich Deters of LaGrange, North Carolina; from Ignacio A. Rodriguez of Monterrey, Mexico; from Becky Ramotowski of Fort Davis, Texas; from Bob King of Duluth, Minnesota; from Dennis Mammana of Borrego Springs, California; from Pablo Lonnie Pacheco of García, Nuevo León, México; from Robert Astalos of Alamosa, Colorado; from John Shirley near Folsom, California; from Jeff Stone at NASA's Mission Control parking lot in Houston, TX; from Ron Wayman of Tampa, Florida; from Thad V'Soske of Grand Valley, Colorado; from Mark Staples of Waldo, Florida; from Bill Davis of Albuquerque, New Mexico; from John Buchanan of Cheney, Washington; from Jorge Solano of San José Pinula, Guatemala; from Francisco Diaz of Lindon, Utah;

SOLAR PROMINENCE: Every clear day, astrophotographer Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK, scans the limb of the sun for photogenic prominences. "On April 22nd I spotted a rather odd looking one," he says. "I've never seen anything quite like it before." This photo shows the view through his SolarScope SF-70:

The twisting, swirling maelstrom underwent many changes in the hours that followed Lawrence's first sighting. "At one point I could see real time movement on my computer screen," he says. "It was amazing!"

Apparently, even the quiet sun has something to offer. If you have a solar telescope, take a look.

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

Explore the Sunspot Cycle

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 23, 2009 there were 1054 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 HF21
Apr. 21
7.4 LD
27 m
2009 HJ21
Apr. 23
1.3 LD
14 m
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.
©2019 All rights reserved.