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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 439.3 km/sec
density: 4.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1742 UT Jul09
24-hr: B4
0108 UT Jul09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Jul 11
New sunspot 1247 is crackling with C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 65
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Jul 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 08 Jul 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 86 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Jul 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= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.1 nT
Bz: 0.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 09 Jul 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on July 9th or 10th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jul 09 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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 Jul 09 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
25 %
25 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Saturday, Jul. 9, 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.

 
Own your own meteorite

INCOMING CME: During the early hours of July 9th, a coronal mass ejection (CME) billowed away from new sunspot 1247. A preliminary analysis of data from NASA's twin STEREO-A and -B spacecraft suggests that the flank of the CME could hit Earth's magnetic field sometime on July 11th or 12th. This is not a major CME, but it could spark polar geomagnetic storms when it arrives. Stay tuned for updates.

LAST FLIGHT OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE: From now on, everything Atlantis does will be the last time a space shuttle does it. The storied orbiter blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on July 8th for the final flight of NASA's 30-year shuttle program. Today, July 9th, Atlantis is chasing down the International Space Station and tomorrow, July 10th, the two spacecraft will dock--never to happen again.

En route to orbit Atlantis might have registered a first. Sharp-eyed viewers of NASA TV caught the shuttle casting a rainbow-ringed shadow, a "glory," on the clouds below:

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains: "As it ascended through clouds, Atlantis lined up with the sun; the directions were perfect to form a colorful ringed glory. The glory tips the shadow of the shuttle in this view from the camera on the external fuel tank."

"The glory was quickly spotted by atmospheric optics observer Rafael Schmall in Hungary who was watching the launch on live NASA TV with a group of friends," Cowley says. "Thanks Rafael and also to Monika Landy-Gyebnár for the alert!"

"Glories are formed when small spherical water droplets in clouds and mist diffract and scatter sunlight backwards. They are often seen around the shadow of an airplane on clouds but this might well be the first, and sadly also the last, from an ascending shuttle."

Want to see the shuttle one last time? Download the shuttle tracking app or check the Simple Satellite Tracker for farewell flyby predictions.

more shuttle-shots: from Pete Lardizabal of Apollo Beach, FL, USA

SOLAR STATIC: On July 7th, the sun produced a series of strong shortwave radio bursts. Click on the dynamic spectrum below to play a 21 MHz sample recorded by amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft in rural New Mexico. The action begins about 18 seconds into the 2 minute recording:

The roaring-static sound you just heard was a combo Type III-Type V solar radio burst caused by electron beams moving through the sun's outer atmosphere. The source of the electrons could be an newly-emerging sunspot group in the sun's southeastern quadrant, although this is not certain. The active region is crackling with C-class solar flares, and it could produce more radio sounds in the days ahead. Ham radio operators, point your Yagis toward the sun!


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


June 2011 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora alerts: text, voice] [previous Junes: 2010, 2008, 2001]


June 15th Lunar Eclipse Gallery

  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 July 9, 2011 there were 1237 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 GA55
Jul 6
64.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 EZ78
Jul 10
37.3 LD
--
1.6 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 km
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2003 BK47
Jul 26
77.6 LD
--
1.1 km
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2007 TD
Sep 23
3.8 LD
--
58 m
2002 AG29
Oct 9
77.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 OJ8
Oct 13
49.8 LD
--
2.5 km
2009 TM8
Oct 17
1.1 LD
--
8 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
Science Central
 
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