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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 618.7 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
1905 UT May02
24-hr: C1
1405 UT May02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 May 11
Sunspot 1203 poses a threat for low-level C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 57
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 May 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 01 May 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 106 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Apr 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 5
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.1 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 May 11
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 May 02 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2011 May 02 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
60 %
30 %
MINOR
20 %
01 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
 
Monday, May. 2, 2011
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

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A solar wind stream that hit Earth's magnetic field during the weekend sent Northern Lights spilling over the Canadian border into the USA. "Magnificent May Day auroras lit up the night sky over Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, on May 1st and into the wee morning hours of May 2nd," reports Tony Wilder. "They shimmered and flickered and waved from the bottom up as green swirls danced from left to right." Northern Lights were also spotted over Lake Superior in Michigan. AURORA ALERTS: phone, text.

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: The solar wind impact sparked auroras over both ends of the planet. "After a slow start to the aurora observing season, we are finally getting some beautiful Aurora Australis here at the geographic South Pole (90 degrees S. latitude)," reports J. Dana Hrubes, science leader at the Amundsen-Scott Station. He took this picture at the peak of the geomagnetic storm on May 1st:

"Red and green auroras were directly overhead and appeared to be 'raining' down on us," says Hrubes. "It was much too cold for rain, however; the air temperature outside was -85 F. The sun set on March 23rd and will not rise again until six months later, so we will surely see more of these lights in the dark nights ahead."

Indeed, the solar wind continues to blow at high speed, and NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of more geomagnetic activity during the next 24 hours. High latitude sky watchers should remain alert for colorful 'rain.'

more images: from Uwe Mueller of Ascheffel, Germany; from Janusz Jakub Kuc of Co. Donegal, Ireland; from Olivier Du Tre of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada; from Zoltan Kenwell of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; from Steve Milner of Ft St John, British Columbia, Canada; from Paul Klauninger of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; from Yasser Maghsoudi of Chochrane, Alberta, Canada;

April 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

MORNING PLANETS: The Great Morning Planet Show of May 2011 is underway. Every morning for the rest of this month, you can see a beautiful gathering of four planets in the eastern sky. They are Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury, shown here on May 1st over Magnetic Island in east Australia:

"This is beautiful sight before dawn," says photographer Liz Gleeson. "Venus and Mercury have been visible for a couple of weeks, but now Mars and Jupiter have joined them for a four-way conjunction."

An animation from Sky & Telescope shows what is in store for the rest of the month. The quartet of worlds will rearrange themselves on a daily basis, forming different shapes in the pre-dawn sky. The best mornings are the ones around May 11th, when Venus and Jupiter converge to form a tight pair. They are so bright, they might fool you into thinking you've witnessed a double supernova beaming through the morning twilight. But, no, it's just the two brightest planets in our own solar system.

Stay tuned for a whole month of morning marvels!

more images: from Simon Chan of Perth, Western Australia; from Stephen Mudge of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  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 May 2, 2011 there were 1218 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 JA
Apr 25
1.6 LD
--
230 m
2011 GJ3
Apr 27
7.7 LD
--
25 m
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2011 HJ
Apr 28
5.3 LD
--
27 m
2011 HP4
May 1
3.3 LD
--
14 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2011 HD24
May 2
5.4 LD
--
35 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2011 HC24
May 12
5.9 LD
--
63 m
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
10 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 m
2011 EZ78
Jul 10
37.3 LD
--
1.5 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 km
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 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
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
  cloud server 2
  more links...
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