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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 405.8 km/sec
density: 0.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2313 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1723 UT Aug02
24-hr: M1
0619 UT Aug02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Aug 11
Sunspots 1261 and 1261 have "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic fields that harbor energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 130
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Aug 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 Aug 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 125 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Aug 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.4 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Aug 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on or about Aug. 7th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Aug 02 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
65 %
65 %
CLASS X
10 %
10 %
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 Aug 02 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
40 %
MINOR
01 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
40 %
MINOR
01 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
 
Tuesday, Aug. 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

DAWN'S SMOOTH MOVE: NASA's ion-propelled Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Vesta last month in an unusual way. Today's story from Science@NASA explains Dawn's smooth move and unveils the first full-frame image of the giant asteroid. Click here.

EARTH-DIRECTED BLAST: Magnetic fields above sunspot 1261 erupted this morning at 0619 UT, producing a long-duration M1-class solar flare. At the peak of the action, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a surge of extreme ultraviolet radiation around the sunspot:

The blast also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost directly toward Earth. Space-based coronagraph images from SOHO and from STEREO-A show the cloud racing away from the sun at almost 900 km/s. Minor to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the CME arrives on or about August 5th. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

July 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Julys: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

MAGNIFICENT SUNSPOT: Double sunspot 1263 is a whopper. Its two dark cores are each wider than Earth, and the entire region stretches more than 65,000 km from end to end. Yesterday in the Netherlands, Emil Kraaikamp took advantage of a break in the clouds and "a few moments of steady air" to capture this magnificent photo:

"To image this monster, I used a 10-inch Newtonian telescope capped by a white light solar filter," says Kraaikamp. He used the same setup to photograph nearby sunspot 1261. The clarity of both images is impressive. Note the granulation of the stellar surface surrounding the main dark cores. Those are Texas-sized bubbles of plasma rising and falling like water boiling on top of a hot stove.

The magnetic field of sunspot 1263 harbors energy for powerful X-class solar flares. Because the sunspot is turning to face Earth, any such eruptions in the days ahead would likely be geo-effective. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

TODAY'S BONUS SHOTS: Lightning Spectrum from Marsha Adams of Sedona, Arizona; Sunspot Sunset from Hossein Haeri-Ardakani of Ardakan, Yazd, Iran


2011 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009]

  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 August 2, 2011 there were 1241 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2003 BK47
Jul 26
77.6 LD
--
1.1 km
2011 OD18
Jul 28
0.4 LD
--
23 m
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2007 TD
Sep 23
3.8 LD
--
58 m
2002 AG29
Oct 9
77.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 OJ8
Oct 13
49.8 LD
--
2.5 km
2009 TM8
Oct 17
1.1 LD
--
8 m
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
--
175 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.
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
Science Central
 
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