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STORM CLOUD MISSES EARTH: A coronal mass ejection (CME) expected to hit Earth's magnetic field on April 9th seems to have missed. No signatures of an impact are evident in solar wind data. NOAA has downgraded the odds of a geomagnetic storm today to no more than 10%.
LAST AURORAS OF THE ARCTIC SEASON? These days, whenever Arctic sky watchers see the aurora borealis, they inevitably wonder if that was it--the last display until autumn. Spring has sprung and soon the midnight sun will overwhelm the Northern Lights. This photo taken April 9th in Blokken, Norway, illustrates the problem:
"At midnight there was lots of light from the sunset," says photographer Frank Olsen. "And just an hour after this, the sunrise made the the horizon quite bright. These are probably our last auroras this season."
Famous last words? An incoming solar wind stream could trigger one more display this week before the midnight sun takes over. Aurora alerts: text, phone.
more images: from Ole C. Salomonsen of Tromsø, Norway; from Anne Fyhn of Grøtfjord, Tromsø, Norway; from Harald Albrigtsen of Grøtfjorden, Norway; from Sylvain Serre of Ivujivik, Nunavik, Quebec, Canada; from Yuichi Takasaka of Prelude Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada; from Göran Strand of Rörvattnet, Sweden;
ALMOST-BLANK SUN: In case you needed a reminder that this solar cycle is the weakest in decades, take a look at the solar disk. Today it's almost blank:
Only last month, solar activity reached a fever pitch with one sunspot alone dumping enough energy in Earth's atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. Such outbursts are consistent with predictions that solar maximum is only about one year away. Yet even on the threshold of Solar Max, the sun remains capable of deep quiet. Stay tuned for more ups and downs.
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 10, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids. 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.
| ||The official U.S. government space weather bureau |
| ||The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena. |
| ||Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever. |
| ||3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory |
| ||Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. |
| ||from the NOAA Space Environment Center |
| ||the underlying science of space weather |