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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 492.5 km/sec
density: 1.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1838 UT Jul13
24-hr: B5
0427 UT Jul13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Jul 11
Solar activity is mostly low. However, sunspot 1250 has a "beta-gamma" magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 62
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 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 12 Jul 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 92 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Jul 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.4 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Jul 11
An equatorial coronal hole is emerging over the sun's eastern limb. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jul 13 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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 13 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2011
What's up in space
 

Are we alone? Your iPhone has the answer. Download the all-new Drake Equation app to calculate the population of the Milky Way.

 
DrakeEQ for iPhone and iPad

DARK FIREWORKS ON THE SUN: NASA has just released new movies of an inky-dark solar explosion that continues to puzzle experts more than a month after it happened. See the footage from Science@NASA.

LAST TRANSIT: Among many things space shuttle Atlantis is doing for the last time, transiting the sun is perhaps the most difficult to observe. Nevertheless, on July 11th Catalin Paduraru managed to catch the orbiter in a split-second crossing of the solar disk over Salcioara, Romania:

"After my two previous attempts to photograph a transit of the ISS failed, it seems that the third time was a charm," says Paduraru. "This was a very special photo because it captured the last flight of Atlantis currently docked to the space station."

Atlantis won't return to Earth for another week. So, while there won't be any more sun-crossings over Salcioara, Romania, other places might still experience this rare event. Transit predictions may be found at CalSky.com.

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.

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 13, 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
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 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
Science Central
 
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