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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 464.6 km/sec
density: 0.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1710 UT Mar23
24-hr: M1
0217 UT Mar23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Mar 11
Big sunspot AR1176 poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 31
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 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 22 Mar 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 100 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Mar 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= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.7 nT
Bz: 4.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Mar 11
Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Mar 23 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
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 23 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2011
What's up in space
 

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store. They make a unique Valentine's gift.

 
Own your own meteorite

HIGH-LATITUDE AURORA ALERT: Earth is entering a stream of solar wind blowing ~500 km/s, and the encounter is stirring up geomagnetic activity around the Arctic Circle. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

Photographer Antony Spencer reports "an amazing display" over Enontekio, Finland, on March 22-23:

"I was leading a group of photographers who have come over from the U.K and we decided to drive inland from Tromsø to beat the clouds," says Spencer. "The display we witnessed was absolutely incredible. I have never seen this much color in the aurora before."

more images: from Sylvain Serre of Salluit, Nunavik, Quebec, Canada

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

SQUARE SUPER MOON: Like so many other people around the world, James Helmericks of Alaska went outside on the evening of March 19th to watch the super perigee Moon rise in the east. "Imagine my surprise," he says, "when I saw that it was almost square." He took this picture from the Colville River Delta on Alaska's north slope:

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains what happened: "This is a very strong mirage produced by rays bent while crossing intense vertical temperature gradients between a layer of cold air beneath warmer air. The lunar disk details are vertically stretched, suggesting that the mirage is part of a fabled Fata Morgana. If we could see distant mountains they would likely be distorted into fantastical vertically elongated shapes resembling castles and tall spires. The high Arctic is famous for these mirages."

more super moonshots: from Peter Rosén of Central Stockholm, Sweden; from Göran Strand of Rörvattnet, Sweden; from Ron Wayman of Tampa Florida; from Guillaume Cannat of Palavas-les-Flots, France; from Rory Glasgow of Huntsville, Texas; from Phil Harrington of Fire Island, New York; from Megan O'Leary of East Sandwich, MA; from Zakaria Hamdi of Djedeida, Debila, Eloued, Algeria; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Jacob Kuiper of Steenwijk, The Netherlands; from Bader Eddine Hamdi of Djedeida, Debila, Eloued, Algeria; from Kendall Gelner of Denver, Colorado; from Miguel Claro of Cabo Espichel, Sesimbra, Portugal.


  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 23, 2011 there were 1215 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 EB74
Mar 16
0.9 LD
--
18 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
2001 QP181
Jul 2
35.1 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 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
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
   
  more links...
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