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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 444.8 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B8
2135 UT Jan14
24-hr: B8
2135 UT Jan14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Jan. 10
Sunspot 1040 is a member of new Solar Cycle 24. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 41
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Jan 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 1 day (8%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 772 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 13 Jan 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 91 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Jan 2010

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.3 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole on or about Jan. 19th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Jan 14 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
20 %
20 %
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: 2010 Jan 14 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
January 14, 2010

SATELLITE FLYBYS APP: Turn your iPhone or iPod into a field-tested satellite tracker! Spaceweather.com presents the Satellite Flybys app.

 

ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE: The Moon is about to pass directly in front of the sun, producing an annular solar eclipse on Jan. 15th between 0500 and 0900 UT. Onlookers in Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia should be alert for crescent-shaped shadows on the ground and "ring of fire" suns in the sky. [animated preview] [timetables and details]

WIDE SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1040 has grown so large (ten times wider than Earth) that only a fraction of it fits on the page. Click on the image for the big picture:

Dennis Simmons sends the image from Brisbane, Australia, where a short spell of exceptionally steady air allowed him to capture the sunspot with superb clarity. "After the software had processed my data, I was left gasping, astonished by what the seeing had allowed me to witness. This is far and away my best-ever high-resolution image of a sunspot."

This sunspot is a fantastic target for backyard solar telescopes. If you have one, take a look!

more images: from Francois Rouviere of Mougins, Alpes Maritimes, France; from Paul Haese of Blackwood, South Australia; from Pavol Rapavy of Observatory Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia; from Paul Maxson of Surprise, Arizona; from M. Jennings, K. Ritchie, J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine

COLD SUNRISE: Lately, early risers around the northern hemisphere have noticed something unusual. The dawn sun is as flat as a pancake! Earl Siggaard sends this example from Sidney, Montana:

"It was a very cold morning, about 3o below zero," says Siggaard. "You can see the wind whipping up snow in the background."

Indeed, cold is key to the phenomenon. Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains: "All these 'pancake suns' are mirages produced by abnormally cold air beneath warmer air--a temperature inversion. In a normal atmosphere, low-hanging air is warmed by the land. This warm air bubbles upwards, cooling and forming cumulus clouds as it does so. In cold weather, however, especially when there is a clear sky at night, heavy cold air forms close to the ground. The cold air layer cannot rise and persists, sometimes getting colder and colder."

"Our recent very cold weather has produced strong inversions and many miraged sunsets. Other mirages to look for when it is cold outside do not involve the sun. We can see ships sailing upside down and distant mountains fashioned into fantastically decorated tall castles - the Fata Morgana."

more images: from Evan Ludes of Beebeetown, Iowa; from Chris Allington of Beebeetown, Iowa


January Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Januarys: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001]

       
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 January 14, 2010 there were 1092 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Jan. 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 AL2
Jan. 11
11.5 LD
20
23 m
24761 Ahau
Jan. 11
70.8 LD
16
1.4 km
2000 YH66
Jan. 12
69.5 LD
17
1.1 km
2010 AL30
Jan. 13
0.3 LD
14
18 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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