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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 415.0 km/sec
density: 4.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A8
1840 UT Mar30
24-hr: B1
1240 UT Mar30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 30 Mar. 10
After a weekend of C-flares and radio bursts, sunspot 1057 has subsided into a state of quiet. . Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 32
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Mar 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 6 days (7%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 776 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 29 Mar 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 83 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 29 Mar 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz: 3.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about April 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Mar 30 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 Mar 30 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
March 30, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.


SUNSET PLANETS: The Solar System's innermost planets are about to put on a beautiful show. This week, Mercury is emerging from the glare of the sun and making a beeline for Venus. By week's end the two planets will be just 3o apart, a bright and eye-catching pair. Keep an eye on the sunset! Sky maps: April 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

RADIO-ACTIVE SUNSPOT: Sunday in new Mexico, a startling roar issued from the loudspeaker of amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft's radio telescope. "It was sunspot 1057," he says. "All day long it had been producing small radio bursts around 21 MHz. Then, at 1813 UT, it let loose a big one. The burst only lasted a minute, but it saturated the radios." Click here to listen.

Photo credit: Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound, Texas [details]

The sounds you just heard were a mix of Type III and Type V radio emissions. They're caused by beams of electrons shooting out of the sunspot into the sun's atmosphere overhead. Not all sunspots produce radio emissions, but AR1057 is definitely "radio-active." "I'll be listening for more bursts in the days ahead," says Ashcraft.

You can, too, using your own radio telescope. NASA's Radio JOVE program will sell you a kit and teach you how to become an amateur radio astronomer all for less than $200.

more images: from Eric Roel of Valle de Bravo, Mexico; from Phillip Jones of Frisco, Texas; from John Minnerath of Crowheart Wyoming; from Francisco A. Rodriguez of Cabreja Mountain Observatory, Canary Islands;

FULL 'WORM' MOON: The first full Moon of northern Spring is putting on a beautiful show. Mohamad Soltanolkottabi sends this picture from Esfahan, Iran, where the lunar disk was bisected last night by the spire of the Sheikh Lutfullah mosque:

According to folklore, this is the "Worm Moon." It signals the coming of northern spring, a thawing of the soil, and the first stirrings of earthworms in long-dormant gardens. "The 'Worm Moon' is much prettier than it sounds," says Soltanolkottabi.

Step outside tonight and see for yourself!

more images: from Gordon Garcia of Bartlett, Ilinois; from Daisuke Tomiyasu of Ashiya, Hyogo, Japan; from Tamás Ábrahám of Zsámbék, Hungary; from Mark Seibold of Portland, Oregon; from Mark Staples of Little Lake Santa Fe, Florida; from Steve Engleman of Richardson, Texas; from Tavi Greiner of coastal North Carolina; from Marko Posavec of Koprivnica, Croatia

March Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Marches: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

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 March 30, 2010 there were 1110 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 PT9
March 3
11.1 LD
305 m
4486 Mithra
March 12
73.5 LD
3.3 km
2001 FM129
March 13
44.1 LD
1.5 km
2010 FU9
March 18
1.5 LD
19 m
2010 EF43
March 18
5.0 LD
23 m
2010 FT
March 27
5.5 LD
33 m
2002 TE66
March 28
48.0 LD
940 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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