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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 452.1 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
1701 UT Jul23
24-hr: C2
1128 UT Jul23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Jul 12
Minor sunspots are emerging at the circled locations. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 29
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Jul 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 23 Jul 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 94 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Jul 2012

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: 4.9 nT
Bz: 0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 23 Jul 12
A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on July 29-30. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jul 23 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: 2012 Jul 23 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
15 %
SEVERE
35 %
05 %
 
Monday, Jul. 23, 2012
What's up in space
 

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

 
Meteorite jewelry

SALLY RIDE (1951 - 2012): Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride died today, July 23rd, following a 17-month battle with cancer. Ride, who became the first American women in space in 1983 when she orbited Earth onboard the space shuttle Challenger, was known for her courage, intelligence, and dedication to young scientists, especially girls. We add our condolences to those of NASA and many others over the loss of a true American original.

VERY FAST FARSIDE CME: A coronal mass ejection (CME) blasted away from the sun this morning with rare speed: 2930 km/s or 6.5 million mph. CMEs moving this fast occur only once every ~5 to 10 years. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the cloud's emergence on July 23rd starting around 0300 UT:

The source of the CME was sunspot AR1520, which sparked many bright auroras earlier this montth when it was on the Earthside of the sun. Now, however, the active region is transiting the sun's farside so this blast was not geoeffective. One can only imagine the geomagnetic storms such a fast CME could produce if it were heading our way. Stay tuned for additional analysis.

Update: According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, this CME will miss all of the solar system's inner planets.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

NOT AURORAS: On some nights when the moon is new and city lights are far away, the sky turns green. But it's not the aurora borealis--it's airglow. Brian Larmay photographed the phenomenon on July 20th from the countryside near Beecher, Wisconsin:

"The airglow was intense enough to see visually," says Larmay. "I decided to create a brief animation of this phenomena with an 8mm fisheye lens which can be seen here."

Although airglow resembles the aurora borealis, its underlying physics is different. Airglow is caused by an assortment of chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere. During the day, ultraviolet radiation from the sun ionizes atoms and breaks apart molecules. At night, the atoms and molecules recombine, emitting photons as they return to normal. This process produces an aurora-like glow visible on very dark nights.

July 20th must have been a good night for airglow, because Warren Justice of Manitoba, Canada, saw it too.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 23, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
--
1.0 km
2012 OQ
Jul 24
7.7 LD
--
185 m
2012 OU1
Jul 25
8.5 LD
--
55 m
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
--
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
--
1.1 km
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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