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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 474.0 km/sec
density: 1.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
2013 UT Jul10
24-hr: B3
1350 UT Jul10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Jul 11
A new sunspot is emerging at the circled location as already-numbered sunspot 1247 rapidly expands. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 55
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 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 09 Jul 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 86 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 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: 6.0 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Jul 11
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jul 10 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 10 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
30 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
40 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Sunday, Jul. 10, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

LAST DOCKING: On Sunday, July 10th, for the 12th and final time, space shuttle Atlantis docked to the International Space Station (ISS). The combined crew of 10 now commences more than a week of docked operations, transferring vital supplies and equipment to sustain ISS in the post-shuttle era. Sky watchers in Australia and New Zealand are favorably positioned to see the docked pair flying through the sky in the nights ahead. Flyby predictions: web-based, iPhone app, Android app.

INCOMING CME: A coronal mass ejection (CME) that billowed away from sunspot 1247 on July 9th could hit Earth's magnetic field on July 12th. Because the CME was not squarely Earth-directed and is not traveling at great speed, only minor geomagnetic storming is expected when the cloud arrives. Bonus: The SDO team has just prepared a beautiful movie of the explosion that produced the CME.

SUNSPOT CHAIN: Sunspot group 1247 is expanding rapidly and in an interesting way. The active region is organizing itself as a linear chain of sunspots, denoted by the rectangle in this July 10th image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

From end to end, the chain stretches more than 200,000 km, which makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. Some observers prefer H-alpha telescopes tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen, but for watching behemoth sunspots evolve, nothing beats a white light observing system. Monitoring is encouraged.

more images: from Enrico Perissinotto of Premariacco (UD) Italy; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from David Evans of Coleshill, North Warwickshire, UK; from John Stetson of Falmouth, Maine; from Bob Yoesle of Goldendale, Washington; from Gianfranco Meregalli of Milano Italy;

ELECTRIC BLUE MORNING: On Sunday morning, July 10th, a bank of noctilucent clouds (NLCs) swept across Europe. Instead of the usual rosy-red, the sunrise over Poland was electric blue:

"This morning I witnessed a spectacular display of NLCs--the best I've ever seen," reports photographer Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland. "The clouds were more than 180 degrees wide and 100 degrees high. It was a fantastic show."

July 2011 has been a banner month for these mysterious clouds. Normally confined to polar latitudes, NLCs have been sighted in recent nights as far south as France in Europe and Kansas and Colorado in the United States. Sky watchers at all latitudes are encouraged to be alert for electric blue; observing tips may be found in the 2011 NLC photo gallery.

UPDATED: 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 10, 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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