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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 497.3 km/sec
density: 0.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2234 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2144 UT Mar05
24-hr: C2
2144 UT Mar05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Mar 11
Sunspot 1164 has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful X-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 104
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 Mar 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (2%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 04 Mar 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 127 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 04 Mar 2011

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: 4.0 nT
Bz: 4.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2235 UT
Coronal Holes: 05 Mar 11
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Mar 05 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
45 %
45 %
CLASS X
05 %
05 %
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 Mar 05 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
30 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Saturday, Mar. 5, 2011
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store. They make a unique Valentine's gift.

 
Own your own meteorite

BIG SUNSPOTS: Sunspots 1164 and 1166 are so large, people are noticing them at sunrise and sunset when the sun is dimmed by clouds and haze. The dark cores of these regions are many times wider than Earth, so they are conspicuous even from a distance of 93 million miles. Readers who monitor the spots using properly-filtered backyard telescopes are likely to see flares in action; sunspot 1164 in particular has a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class eruptions.

AURORA WATCH: A coronal mass ejection (CME) is en route to Earth, due to arrive on March 6th. The CME is slow-moving and not especially massive. Nevertheless, its arrival could provoke geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Even without a CME, the skies over Abisko National Park in Sweden are already active. Chad Blakley took this picture before daybreak on March 5th:

"As I was eating dinner a friend of mine called and told me to stop whatever I was doing, grab my camera, and run outside," says Blakley. "I was not disappointed with what I saw. The auroras just keep getting better. I can't wait to see what the rest of this great season has to offer."

NEW: March 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Marches: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

SPACE STATION FLYBYS: On March 1st, the International Space Station flew over Germany with a double-docking of spacecraft alongside. Both space shuttle Discovery and Europe's new Kepler robotic supply ship were mated to the outpost, providing an extra-large target for backyard telescopes. Click on the image to enjoy the view through astrophotographer Dirk Ewer's 5-inch refractor:

"It was impressive to see the shifting colors of the main solar panels as the sun-angle changed during the overpass," says Ewers. "I also liked the 3-dimensional feel created by Discovery's shadow playing across the station's exoskeleton."

More flybys like this are in the offing--both for Europe and North America. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker (or your cell phone) to find out when to look.

more images: from Pawel Warchal of Cracow, Poland; from Andy Cade of London, England;


NanoSail-D Photo Gallery
[NASA: Solar Sail Stunner] [Photo Contest]

  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 5, 2011 there were 1203 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 EB
Feb 26
2.4 LD
--
18 m
2011 DQ
Feb 26
9.7 LD
--
26 m
2011 DT9
Feb 27
9 LD
--
39 m
2011 DE5
Mar 1
4.9 LD
--
22 m
2011 DW4
Mar 3
6.9 LD
--
15 m
2011 EC
Mar 6
9.2 LD
--
33 m
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
--
2.6 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
9 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
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
   
  more links...
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