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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 321.6 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M1
1747 UT May06
24-hr: M1
1747 UT May06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 May 12
New sunspot 1476 is crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 88
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 May 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 05 May 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 114 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 May 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.4 nT
Bz: 3.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2348 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 May 12
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on May 9-10. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 May 06 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
70 %
70 %
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: 2012 May 06 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
15 %
15 %
 
Sunday, May. 6, 2012
What's up in space
 

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

 
Spaceweather Radio is on the air

BIG NEW SUNSPOT: New sunspot 1476 is large and crackling with impulsive M-class solar flares. Because of the active region's location near the east limb, the eruptions are not geoeffective, although this could change in the days ahead as the sunspot turns toward Earth. Solar flare alerts: text, phone.

LIVE METEOR RADAR: NASA's all-sky fireball network captured another haul of bright eta Aquarid meteors last night--ten fireballs in all. This suggests that the shower is still active, and might even be peaking, on May 6th. Tune into Space Weather Radio for live echoes from these bits of Halley's Comet as they fly over the US Air Force Space Surveilance Radar in Texas.

SUPER MOON: Last night's full Moon was a "super moon," as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2012. The phenomenon, also known as a perigee moon, is caused by the elliptical shape of the Moon's orbit around Earth. Big, nearby moons like this come along about once a year; they are harmless, beautiful, and, seen from certain angles, very romantic:

VegaStar Carpentier of Paris, France, took the picture on May 5th.

The moonlight was so intense in Veszprem, Hungary, "the birds started singing because they thought it was morning," reports Monika Landy-Gyebnar. "I went out at 2 AM in almost daylight conditions. The landscape was visible in full color, the sky was vivid blue and only the brightest stars were visible. The perigee Moon lit the world with its full brightness."

more moonshots: from John Minnerath of Crowheart, Wyoming; from Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden; from Kamila Mazurkiewicz of Puławy, Poland; from Halldor Sigurdsson of Reykjavik, Iceland; from Sima Doshmanfana of Yazd, Iran; from P. Nikolakakos of Sparta, Greece; from Veerayen Mohanadas of Simpang Empat, Perak, Malaysia; from George Kourounis of Norman, Oklahoma; from Frederic Hore of Lachine, Quebec; from Jean-Sébastien Roux of Montreal Canada; from Chris Farina of Ann Arbor, Michigan; from Alan Conrad of Liverpool, Nova Scotia; from Dean Verner of Elmvale, Ontario; from David Marshall of Christ Church, Barbados; from José Geraldo Mattos of Santa Catarina, Brasil; from Gustavo Rojas of São Carlos, Brasil

VENUS IS NOT ALONE: When the sun sets tonight, go outside and look west. The Evening Star, Venus, is not alone. Second-magnitude star El Nath is less than a degree away. Marek Nikodem photographed the pair on May 2nd from the countryside near Niedźwiady, Poland:

The planet and the star are converging. At closest approach on May 6th (that's tonight), they will be 0.8o apart, a gap so small you can hide it behind the outstreched tip of your index finger.

If you have a telescope, point it at Venus. The planet is at its brightest for all of 2012, and backyard optics easily resolve it into a 27% crescent. Swing over to El Nath for a different experience. The star, which lies 130 light years away, is a pinprick of light unresolved by the most powerful telescopes on Earth.

more images: from John Chumack of Dayton, Ohio; from Gene Taylor near Skyline Arch in Arches National Park, Utah; from Andrea Aletti of Varese, Italy; from Luis Argerich of Buenos Aires, Argentina; from Mariusz Rudziński of Mirostowice Dolne, Poland; from Carlos Rosatti of San Jose, Uruguay;

  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 6, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 HE31
Apr 30
2.7 LD
--
31 m
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
--
43 m
2012 HA34
May 2
2.9 LD
--
38 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
2002 AC
Jun 16
62.2 LD
--
1.2 km
1999 BJ8
Jun 16
68.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2005 GO21
Jun 21
17.1 LD
--
2.2 km
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.3 LD
--
1.3 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 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
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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
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