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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 415.4 km/sec
density: 7.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
1850 UT Aug07
24-hr: C4
1330 UT Aug07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 07 Aug 12
A new sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 108
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 07 Aug 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 07 Aug 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 134 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 07 Aug 2012

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: 10.0 nT
Bz: 5.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 07 Aug 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Aug 07 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
15 %
15 %
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: 2012 Aug 07 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
15 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
30 %
SEVERE
30 %
25 %
 
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012
What's up in space
 

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

 
Venus Transit metal posters

CHANCE OF STORMS: NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on August 7/8. That's when a coronal mass ejection (CME) hurled into space by a filament eruption on Aug. 4 could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

FIRST COLOR IMAGE FROM CURIOSITY: Curiosity's first color image of Mars has just been beamed back to Earth--and it's a little dusty. This murky view of the landscape to the north of the rover was captured by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the afternoon of the first day after landing:

The image shows the north wall and rim of Gale Crater. The view is murky because MAHLI's removable dust cover is apparently coated with dust blown onto the camera during the rover's terminal descent. Another camera, the Descent Imager, photographed the roughly circular swirls of dust kicked up from the Martian surface by the rocket motor exhaust.

The MAHLI camera is located on the turret at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The camera's main purpose is to acquire close-up, high-resolution views of rocks and soil at the rover's Gale Crater field site. MAHLI is capable of focusing on any target at distances of about 0.8 inch (2.1 centimeters) to infinity. This means it can take not only close-up pictures of rocks but also big-picture images of the landscape as shown above.

In a week or so, MAHLI's dust cover will come off and the view will improve. Stay tuned for more images.

SUN SERPENT: Amateur astronomers arpund the world are monitoring a gigantic filament of magnetism on the sun. If one end of the filament were on Earth, the other end would reach all the way to the Moon. The dimensions of the structure make it an easy target for amateur solar telescopes. Richard Fleet sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Wiltshire, England:

This filament is filled with billions of tons of plasma, yet it has remained suspended above the surface of the sun for days. Such a massive structure, buffeted as it is by winds and currents in the sun's atmosphere, is unlikely to remain stable much longer. If the filament collapses, it could crash into the surface of the sun and spark a powerful type of explosion called a Hyder flare. Amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor developments.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Meteor Photo Gallery


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

  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 7, 2012 there were 1324 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
--
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 km
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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