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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 341.4 km/sec
density: 5.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1820 UT Jan23
24-hr: B2
1820 UT Jan23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Jan 11
Sunspot 1149 poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 36
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Jan 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (5%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 22 Jan 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 88 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Jan 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 0.5 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Jan 10
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jan 23 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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 Jan 23 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011
What's up in space
 

Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.

 
Satellite flybys

DID YOU SEE THAT FIREBALL? Spaceweather.com is seeking reports of a possible fireball or other bright lights in the sky over North America on Jan. 18th around 4 am EST. The area of particular interest extends from Lake Michigan to southern parts of Ontario and upper New York state. Did you see anything? Submit your reports here.

SUNSPOT ACTIVITY: The biggest sunspots of the year are putting on a show for amateur astronomers. From his backyard observatory in Brazil, Rogerio Marcon photographed a maelstrom of hot gas swirling around the dark cores of AR1147-1149 on Jan. 22nd:

"I took the picture using a small refracting telescope and an H-alpha filter tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen," explains Marcon.

Sunspot 1149 (the southern half of the complex) has a tangled magnetic field that harbors energy for strong flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% chance of M-class eruptions during the next 24 hours. Readers with solar telescopes should continue to monitor the region for explosive developments.

more images: from Patrick L├ęcureuil of Mauroux, sud-west France; from Matthew Wastell of Brisbane, Australia; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye; from Stefano Sello of Pisa, Italy; from Strikis Iakovos of Athens, Greece; from Ron Cottrell of Oro Valley, Arizona; from Robert Spellman of Azusa, Ca; from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary

OMEGA SUNSET: "Last night's sunset was an amazing sight," reports Pete Lawrence from West Beach in Selsey, UK. "As the sun approached the horizon, the lower half of the solar disk extended downwards to touch an image of itself rising out of the waves." He took this picture of the phenomenon:

Jules Verne famously likened this kind of sunset to an Etruscan Vase. Others call it an "Omega sunset" because it resembles the Greek letter. Either way, it is caused by warm air overlying the sea surface, which refracts the rays of the setting sun to produce a mirage, as shown.

This is a good weekend to watch the sunset. Not only are mirages a possibility, but also you might observe a sunspot in the twilight. On Jan. 22nd, Martin McKenna witnessed this sunspot sunset from Maghera, Northern Ireland.


January 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]


Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse]

  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 23, 2011 there were 1184 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 AH5
Jan 13
3.3 LD
26
28 m
2011 AY22
Jan 14
4.1 LD
27.1
17 m
2011 AN52
Jan 17
0.8 LD
28.5
9 m
2011 AB37
Jan 19
9.5 LD
25.9
29 m
2011 AL37
Jan 26
2.2 LD
24.1
67 m
2003 YG118
Feb 20
67.7 LD
17
1.8 km
2000 PN9
Mar 10
45.5 LD
16.1
2.6 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
16.4
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
28.2
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
26.4
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
17.9
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
16.1
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
17
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
   
  more links...
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