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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: 400.9 km/sec
density: 19.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
2230 UT Aug23
24-hr: A6
0335 UT Aug23
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 23 Aug 10
The Earth-facing side of the sun is blank-no sunspots. Solar activity is very low.
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 3 days
2010 total: 38 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 806 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 22 Aug 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Aug2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 18.1 nT
Bz: 7.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Aug. 25th. Credit: SDO/AIA
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Aug 23 2201 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: 2010 Aug 23 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
35 %
MINOR
05 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
35 %
MINOR
05 %
15 %
SEVERE
01 %
10 %
What's up in Space
August 23, 2010

AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE

 

FIREBALL ON JUPITER: On August 20th at 18:22 UT, two amateur astronomers in Japan independently recorded an apparent impact on Jupiter. Masayuki Tachikawa of Kumamoto city was first to report the event. His movie of the fireball shows the fireball scintillating (twinkling) along with other features on the planet -- persuasive evidence that this is a genuine event on Jupiter. Soon after Tachikawa made his report, Tokyo amateur astronomer Kazuo Aoki realized that he had recorded the fireball, too:

The ~800 km separation of the two observers rules out an event near Earth and reinforces the association of the fireball with Jupiter. The most likely explanation: A small comet or asteroid hit the giant planet.

This is the third time in only 13 months that amateur astronomers have detected signs of impact on Jupiter. The earlier events occured on July 19, 2009, and June 3, 2010. Jupiter is getting hit more often than conventional wisdom would suggest, leading many researchers to call for a global network of telescopes to monitor Jupiter 24/7 and measure the impact rate.

"Like the event of June 3rd, this fireball did not produce any visible debris," notes John Rogers, director of the British Astronomical Association's Jupiter section. "Here are some hi-resolution images taken 1-2 rotations before and 1-2 rotations after the event. As the observers commented, there was no visible mark (not in RGB, nor UV, nor methane), post-impact. Dark brown spots on the North Equatorial Belt were already there before the fireball."

ANTARCTIC DRIVE-IN THEATRE: Where do you go to see a movie in Antarctica? The drive-in theatre, of course. Michael Zupanc reports from Australia's Davis Station on the Antarctic coast: "We made our own drive-in theatre by clearing some snow off the sea ice and using a nearby cliff as the movie screen." On August 7th there was a double feature--the Blues Brothers and the aurora australis:

"It was a nice, clear night and the auroras provided excellent mood lighting for Jake and Elwood," says Zupanc.

We hope they're in the mood for more. A solar wind stream is heading for Earth and it could spark a new round of geomagnetic activity when it arrives on August 25th. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

August 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]


2010 Perseid Photo Gallery
[meteor radar] [Perseid fireball cam]

 
       
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 August 23, 2010 there were 1144 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2002 CY46
Sep 2
63.8 LD
16
2.4 km
2010 LY63
Sep 7
56 LD
18
1.2 km
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
25
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
17
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
18
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
18
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
17
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
15
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
17
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
18
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
19
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
16
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
18
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
28
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
18
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
17
1.5 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 Links
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
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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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