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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 465.6 km/sec
density: 0.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2244 UT Mar11
24-hr: C5
0432 UT Mar11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Mar 11
Sunspot 1166 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 88
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 Mar 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 10 Mar 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 131 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 10 Mar 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 6 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 12.2 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 11 Mar 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole is likely to brush past Earth's magnetic field on or about March 14th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Mar 11 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
50 %
50 %
CLASS X
05 %
05 %
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 Mar 11 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
35 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
10 %
 
Friday, Mar. 11, 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

AURORAS INVADE THE USA: Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from a CME strike on March 10th. During the past 24 hours, Northern Lights have descended as far south as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan in the United States. "At one point the lights filled more than half of the entire sky," says Travis Novitsky, who sends this self-portrait from Grand Portage, MN:

"We stood in awe at not only the movements but also the colors we were seeing-- green, red, purple, and white," says Novitsky. "I was almost in a trance staring at this amazing show and I had to remind myself to keep taking pictures!"

Solar wind conditions favor more geomagnetic storming in the hours ahead. Sky watchers--even those in the continental United States--should remain alert for auroras.

UPDATED: March 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Marches: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

X-FLARE: March 9th ended with a powerful solar flare. Earth-orbiting satellites detected an X1.5-class explosion from behemoth sunspot 1166 around 2323 UT. A movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows a bright flash of UV radiation plus some material being hurled away from the blast site:


Movie formats: 4 MB gif, 1.2 MB iPad, 0.3 MB iPhone

UPDATE (March 10 @ 1800 UT): Newly-arriving coronagraph data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory show no bright CME emerging from this eruption. Some material was surely hurled in our direction, but probably not enough for significant Earth-effects.

After four years without any X-flares, the sun has produced two of the powerful blasts in less than one month: Feb. 15th and March 9th. This continues the recent trend of increasing solar activity, and shows that Solar Cycle 24 is heating up. NOAA forecasters estimate a 5% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours.

SOLAR FLARE ALERTS: Would you like a call when the next X-flare erupts? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

  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 March 11, 2011 there were 1204 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 EC
Mar 6
9.2 LD
--
34 m
2011 EO11
Mar 6
1.8 LD
--
15 m
2011 EY11
Mar 7
0.3 LD
--
9 m
2011 EM40
Mar 7
0.7 LD
--
12 m
2011 EL40
Mar 8
3.4 LD
--
23 m
2011 EC12
Mar 8
3.3 LD
--
30 m
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
--
2.6 km
2011 EU20
Mar 11
1.6 LD
--
16 m
2011 BE38
Apr 10
48 LD
--
1.0 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
9 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 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
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
   
  more links...
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