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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 457.9 km/sec
density: 1.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2342 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2044 UT Jan26
24-hr: C7
0149 UT Jan26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jan 12
A new sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 68
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jan 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 25 Jan 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 126 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jan 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= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.1 nT
Bz: 4.6 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Jan 12
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Jan. 28-29. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jan 26 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
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 Jan 26 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
20 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
25 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012
What's up in space
 

Don't just watch shooting stars. Wear them! Authentic meteorite jewelry for Valentine's Day is now available in the SpaceWeather Store.

 
Meteorite jewelry

ASTEROID FLYBY: Newly-discovered asteroid 2012 BX34 will fly past Earth on Jan. 27th only 77,000 km (0.2 lunar distances) away. There is no danger of a collision with the 14-meter wide space rock. Advanced amateur astronomers might be able to observe the flyby as the asteroid brightens to 14th magnitude just before closest approach on Friday at 1530 UT. [3D orbit] [ephemeris]

SUNSET PLANETS: For the second day in a row, Venus and the crescent Moon are shining together in the sunset sky. Look west at the end of the day for a beautiful view. New images: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12.

MORE SOLAR ACTIVITY: Sunspot AR1402, the source of this week's powerful M9-class solar flare, is acting up again. On Jan. 26th between 0100 UT and 0600 UT, a sequence of C-class magnetic eruptions around the active region hurled a bright coronal mass ejection over the sun's north pole, shown here in a coronagraph image from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory:

The cloud is not heading toward Earth, at least not directly. This and future eruptions from AR1402 are unlikely to be geoeffective as the sunspot is turning away from our planet. By week's end it will be on the far side of the sun, blasting its CMEs toward planets on the opposite side of the solar system.

AURORAS OVER THE USA: The geomagnetic storm of Jan. 24th died out before night fell over North America--or did it? According to reports still trickling in, auroras were reported not only in Canada, but also in some of the lower 48 US states. Shawn Malone of Marquette, Michigan, took this picture looking north from the shores of Lake Superior:

"I got to view a slice of the aurora through a tiny opening in an otherwise completely overcast sky," says Malone. "It appeared to be a pretty decent display."

Prompted by the CME warning, Mike Hollingshead of Nebraska drove 450 miles to the Badlands National Park of South Dakota hoping to catch a glimpse of the auroras. He got more than he bargained for: "While I waited for some sign of auroras, the most amazing fireball I've ever seen blasts down. It flashed brightly and illuminated the terrain around me." Later, the auroras made a belated appearance, turning the badland sky green.

More auroras could be in the offing. A solar wind stream is heading for Earth, due to arrive on Jan. 28-29. NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of geomagnetic storms at high latitudes. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

more images: from Stephan Hoglund of Grand Marais, Minnesota; from Kimberly S Mietzah Damkoehler of Houston, Alaska; from Robert Berdan of Calgary, Alberta; from Bob Conzemius of Lake of the Woods, Minnesota; from Matt Melnyk of Edmonton, Alberta; from Sylvain Serre of Ivujivik, Nunavik, Quebec, Canada;

January 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Januaries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004]


Comet Lovejoy Gallery
[previous comets: McNaught, Holmes, Lulin, Tuttle, Ikeya-Zhang]

  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 26, 2012 there were 1272 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 BS1
Jan 23
3.1 LD
--
10 m
2012 BY1
Jan 24
2 LD
--
30 m
1991 VK
Jan 25
25.3 LD
--
1.9 km
2012 BW13
Jan 26
1.7 LD
--
16 m
2012 BX34
Jan 27
0.2 LD
--
14 m
2012 BD14
Jan 30
5.8 LD
--
20 m
433 Eros
Jan 31
69.5 LD
--
8.5 km
2009 AV
Feb 16
44.9 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Feb 19
17.7 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 CP4
Feb 23
9.1 LD
--
255 m
2008 EJ85
Mar 6
9.1 LD
--
44 m
1999 RD32
Mar 14
57.9 LD
--
2.3 km
2011 YU62
Mar 16
73.4 LD
--
1.3 km
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
--
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
--
8 m
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.
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Atmospheric Optics
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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
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