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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 351.7 km/sec
density: 8.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A7
1706 UT Jan24
24-hr: C1
0616 UT Jan24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Jan 11
Sunspot complex 1147-1149 poses a slight threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 38
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Jan 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2011 total: 1 day (4%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 820 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Updated 23 Jan 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 84 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 Jan 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.0 nT
Bz: 2.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 24 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 24 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 24 2200 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
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Monday, Jan. 24, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

SOLAR SAIL STUNNER: In a stunning reversal of fortune, NASA's NanoSail-D spacecraft has unfurled a gleaming sheet of space-age fabric 650 km above Earth, becoming the first-ever solar sail to circle our planet. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SUNSPOT GENESIS: Over the weekend a huge sunspot broke through the stellar surface. AR1149 popped up right beside existing sunspot AR1147, more than doubling the sunspot number and forming the largest active region of the New Year. Click on the arrow to watch a 2-day SDO movie of sunspot genesis:

The active region is crackling with C-class solar flare, and even stronger M-flares are possible according to NOAA forecasters. Any eruptions in the days ahead will probably not be Earth-directed, however, because the sun's rotation is turning the complex away from our planet.

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 24, 2011 there were 1184 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
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
62 m
2011 BF10
Jan 30
9.3 LD
27.3
15 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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