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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: 665.6 km/sec
density: 2.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A5
1905 UT Aug24
24-hr: A6
0820 UT Aug24
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 24 Aug 10
A new sunspot is emerging over the sun's eastern limb at the circled location.
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 23 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 4 days
2010 total: 39 days (17%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 807 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 23 Aug 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 23 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= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.6 nT
Bz: 5.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is entering a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Aug 24 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 24 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
30 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
10 %
05 %
What's up in Space
August 24, 2010

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

 

SOMETHING FISHY: According to folklore, tonight's full Moon is the Sturgeon Moon, named by Native American tribes of the Great Lakes who caught lots of sturgeon during the month of August. A moon named after an ancient slimy fish? Go outside and take a look. It's prettier than it sounds.

AURORA ALERT: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing geomagnetic activity around the poles. Sævar Helgi Bragason sends this picture from Bardastrond, Iceland:


Photo details: Nikon D80, ISO 200, 10s exposure

"It was a beautiful evening in the west fjords of Iceland," says Bragason. "The auroras were easily visible even with the full Moon illuminating the scene over Snaefellsnes and Breidafjordur. Jupiter may be seen in the panorama hanging low but shining brightly. What a wonderful autumn sky!"

High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras as the solar wind continues to blow.

more images: from Dave Swartz of Toolik Lake, Alaska; from Sylvain Serre of Salluit, Nunavik, Quebec, Canada;

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."


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 24, 2010 there were 1144 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
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
  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 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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