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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 581.5 km/sec
density: 0.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
2010 UT Apr07
24-hr: A5
1735 UT Apr07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Apr. 10
Sunspots 1060 and 1061 are quiet and pose no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 41
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 Apr 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 6 days (6%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 776 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 06 Apr 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 78 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 Apr 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.3 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Apr 07 2201 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: 2010 Apr 07 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
05 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
10 %
MINOR
15 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
April 7, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.

 

GEOSTORMS, CONTINUED: High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of geomagnetic activity and a 10% chance of severe geomagnetic storms during the next 24 hours. The source of this activity is a fast and gusty solar wind stream that has been blowing around Earth for two days. [UPDATED: gallery].

SOUTHERN LIGHTS: The aurora-show has spread to the southern hemisphere. Here is what the sky looked like just hours ago in Antarctica:

"This was the most intense and amazing natural phenomenon I have ever had the privilege of observing," says photographer André Harms. "It was such an exhilarating feeling when the sky just exploded in a kaleidoscope of moving colors."

Harms works at SANAE IV, the South African Antarctic research station in coastal Dronning Maud Land just inside the Antarctic Circle. The base itself is located on top of a distinctive flat-topped nunatak, which offers observers a fine view of the sky. The view could remain colorful for some days to come as the solar wiind continues to blow. Stay tuned!

April Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

UNIQUE LIFTOFF: Veteran observers agree, Monday's launch of space shuttle Discovery was something special. "I've seen some truly spectacular shuttle launches since Columbia first rocketed into space in 1981, but the launch of STS-131 was in a whole new category," says Jonathan Sabin of Ellenton, Florida. He took this picture and explains the elements of it below:

"Standing alone at the edge of a deserted cow pasture, I watched in awe as the craft first appeared over a line of trees about a quarter mile away. I was transfixed by the towering, backlit exhaust plume," says Sabin. "Next, something happened that I had never witnessed before. About half-minute or so after the solid rocket boosters (SRBs) separated, a plume appeared around the craft itself. A moving, nebulous 'blob' expanded and twisted as Discovery arched its way back toward the horizon en route to orbit."

The show continued even after the shuttle was out of sight. Ice crystals in Discovery's lingering exhaust caught the rays of the rising sun and formed a noctilucent cloud of startling brightness. "In all my 30 years of watching noctilucent clouds, I never have seen one like this," says astronomer Jacob Kuiper, who got a close-up view of the phenomenon from the Kennedy Space Center's Press Site. "The shuttle exhaust plume turned into a magnificent panorama of color."

more images: from Doug Shytle, PhD of Cape Canaveral, Florida; from Pete Lardizabal of Canaveral National Seashore Park, FL; from Dan Gore of Titusville, Florida; from William Hartenstein of Kennedy Space Center, FL; from Chuck Pek of Cocoa Beach, Florida; from Jacob Kuiper at the Kennedy Space Center's press site; from Mark Staples of Waldo, Florida

 
       
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 7, 2010 there were 1110 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2001 PT9
March 3
11.1 LD
15
305 m
4486 Mithra
March 12
73.5 LD
15
3.3 km
2001 FM129
March 13
44.1 LD
16
1.5 km
2010 FU9
March 18
1.5 LD
17
19 m
2010 EF43
March 18
5.0 LD
19
23 m
2010 FT
March 27
5.5 LD
20
33 m
2002 TE66
March 28
48.0 LD
15
940 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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