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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 456.3 km/sec
density: 1.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2342 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2241 UT Jul26
24-hr: C3
2241 UT Jul26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 26 Jul 11
New sunspot 1260 is growing rapidly and poses a threat for C-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 38
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 Jul 2011

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

Updated 25 Jul 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 87 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 Jul 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= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: 0.6 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 26 Jul 11
A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth on ~July 30th. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Jul 26 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
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 Jul 26 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Tuesday, Jul. 26, 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

SPACESHIP AT DAWN: The International Space Station is beginning a series of bright morning passes over North America. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times, then set your alarm to see a spaceship at dawn. It's a nice way to start the day.

AURORAS, MOON AND PLEAIDES: A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, turning the skies over Canada green. Bob Johnson sends this picture from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan:


Photo details: Canon 40D, 140mm lens, 10 second exposure, ISO 3200.

"I went outside to see the Moon and Pleiades after midnight on July 25th when the auroras appeared," says Johnson. "It was beautiful."

More auroras are possible tonight as the solar wind continues to blow faster than ~500 km/s. Conditions favor observers in the southern hemisphere where skies are winter-dark. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: "The morning of July 26th was electric blue!" says Heiko Ulbricht of Freital, Saxony, Germany. "I woke up at 3 clock, looked out my bedroom window to the north and saw a stunning display of noctilucent clouds." Moments later, he dashed outside with a camera to record the view:

July has been an odd time for noctilucent clouds (NLCs). The month began with an extravagant display that stretched as far south as Colorado and Kansas--odd because NLCs are usually confined to higher latitudes. The event seemed to herald a period of widespread sightings. Observers were disappointed, though, when the clouds quickly retreated to their usual northern habitat. Could this German apparition signal renewed activity? Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for electric-blue ripples around sunrise and sunset. Observing tips may be found in the gallery.

more images: from Timo Newton-Syms of Helsinki, Finland

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


June 2011 Aurora Gallery
[Aurora alerts: text, voice] [previous Junes: 2010, 2008, 2001]

  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 26, 2011 there were 1237 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2003 BK47
Jul 26
77.6 LD
--
1.1 km
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2007 TD
Sep 23
3.8 LD
--
58 m
2002 AG29
Oct 9
77.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2000 OJ8
Oct 13
49.8 LD
--
2.5 km
2009 TM8
Oct 17
1.1 LD
--
8 m
2011 FZ2
Nov 7
75.9 LD
--
1.6 km
2005 YU55
Nov 8
0.8 LD
--
175 m
1994 CK1
Nov 16
68.8 LD
--
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 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
 
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