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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 545.5 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1750 UT Apr05
24-hr: B7
0523 UT Apr05
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 05 Apr 11
None of these spots poses a threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 83
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 Apr 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 04 Apr 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 113 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 04 Apr 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: 6.4 nT
Bz: 3.0 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 05 Apr 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could brush against Earth's magnetic field on or about April 10th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Apr 05 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 Apr 05 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
20 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
25 %
MINOR
01 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Tuesday, Apr. 5, 2011
What's up in space
 

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Satellite flybys

THE MYSTERY OF VESTA: Is Vesta an ordinary asteroid or something much more interesting? Researchers are debating this question as NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches the behemoth space rock for a closer look. Whatever Vesta turns out to be--a protoplanet, minor planet, or super-asteroid--you can own a piece. Authentic fragments of Vesta are on sale now in the Space Weather Store.

CRESCENT MOON ALERT: When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west. A crescent Moon of exquisite beauty is beaming through the twilight. Miguel Claro sends this preview from the Atlantic coast of Portugal near Lisbon:

"The crescent Moon on April 4th was only 1% illuminated," says Claro. "Nevertheless, I was able to see it over the bright lights of Costa da Caparica." The show continues tonight with an even easier-to-see 5% crescent. Don't miss it!

more images: from Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland; from Jim Werle of Las Vegas, Nevada; from Jim Saueressig II of Burlington, Kansas; from Alexandre Croisier of Brest, Brittany, France; from Stefano De Rosa of Turin (Italy); from Christophe Stolz of K├Âniz, Switzrland

UNSTABLE FILAMENT: An active filament of solar magnetism is snaking around the sun's southeastern limb today. Measuring more than 200,000 km along its sinuous backbone, the vast structure is in a constant state of motion. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory froze it in this snapshot taken 20:16 UT on April 5th:

Filaments as agitated as this one is often erupt and hurl parts of themselves into space. Because of the filament's location on the sun's limb, any such blast would not be Earth-directed, but it would be photogenic! Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the action.


April 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 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 5, 2011 there were 1215 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 GW9
Apr 6
0.5 LD
--
10 m
2011 GP28
Apr 6
0.2 LD
--
6 m
2011 FT29
Apr 7
6.3 LD
--
38 m
2011 GZ2
Apr 9
2.7 LD
--
26 m
2011 FT53
Apr 9
6 LD
--
34 m
2011 GE
Apr 13
4.8 LD
--
27 m
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2011 GJ3
Apr 27
7.8 LD
--
24 m
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
2001 QP181
Jul 2
35.1 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 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
   
  more links...
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