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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 342.0 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1713 UT Apr01
24-hr: B4
1713 UT Apr01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Apr 12
Returning sunspot AR1429 is just a shadow of its former self, having decayed substantially during its two week trip around the backside of the sun. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 96
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Mar 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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

Updated 31 Mar 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 110 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Mar 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.4 nT
Bz: 6.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 01 Apr 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Apr 01 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
CLASS X
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: 2012 Apr 01 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Sunday, Apr. 1, 2012
What's up in space
 

Can you drop a probe on a comet? A new iPhone game from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory puts you in control of the Rosetta spacecraft as it prepares to intercept Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Download it now.

 
Comet Quest for iOS

QUIET WEEKEND: With the return of formerly-explosive sunspot AR1429 proving anticlimactic, solar activity is low. No strong flares are likely this weekend.

APRIL 1st ASTEROID FLYBY: Newly discovered near-Earth asteroid 2012 EG5 is flying past Earth today about halfway between Earth and the Moon. There's no danger of a collision. At closest approach on April 1st, the Dreamliner-sized space rock will be about 230,000 km from Earth. This morning in Brisbane, Australia, amateur astronomer Dennis Simmons photographed the incoming asteroid:

"On the eve of Earth Hour, whilst most of Australia was asleep, I was alone in my back garden, searching for the ghostly trail of 2012 EG5," says Simmons. "Alone but not lonely, my Celestron C9.25 and Tak EM200 mount were purring along, tracking 2012 EG5 as it flitted through the camera field only a few hours before its closest encounter. As the clock ticked over into 1st April, the estimated magnitude was approx 14.4 as it fast approached the Earth. This is to be no April’s Fool hoax – it’s for real!"

SPRITE SEASON BEGINS: The first sprites of summer are starting to appear in the skies of North America. The strange thing is, summer is almost three months away. "Sprite season is beginning early this year," says Thomas Ashcraft, who photographed these specimens on March 30th from his observatory in New Mexico:

"At precisely two minutes and twenty-six seconds after midnight March 30, 2012 there was an incredibly powerful bolt of lightning in the vicinity of Woodward, Oklahoma that spawned these red sprites," says Ashcraft. "I could see them from two states away!" He also recorded VLF and shortwave radio emissions from the cluster, which you can hear as the soundtrack to this video.

Sprites are electrical discharges that come out of the top of thunderclouds, opposite ordinary lightning bolts which plunge toward Earth. Sprites can tower as high as 90 km above ground. That makes them a form of space weather as they overlap the zone of auroras, meteors, and noctilucent clouds.

Because they are associated with lightning, sprites are most often seen in summer months, "but in the past few days sprites have been reported in Texas (particularly near the Mexican border) as well as here in New Mexico," notes Ashcraft.

So if there's lightning where you live, be alert for sprites.


February 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 1, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 FV23
Mar 30
6.6 LD
--
36 m
2012 EG5
Apr 1
0.6 LD
--
59 m
2012 FW35
Apr 1
8.3 LD
--
23 m
2012 FQ62
Apr 2
5.7 LD
--
31 m
2012 FS52
Apr 2
8.9 LD
--
47 m
2012 FH58
Apr 3
3.7 LD
--
16 m
2012 FA57
Apr 4
1.1 LD
--
28 m
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
--
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
--
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
--
43 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
--
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
--
5.7 km
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
--
1.1 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 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.
STEREO
  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
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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