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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: 662.2 km/sec
density: 0.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2000 UT Aug27
24-hr: B4
0440 UT Aug27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Aug 10
Sunspot 1101 is big but quiet. Overall, solar activity is very low.
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 23
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 39 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 807 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 26 Aug 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 73 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 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: 3.0 nT
Bz: 0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Aug 27 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 27 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
What's up in Space
August 27, 2010

iPHONE VS ANDROID! Actually, it doesn't matter which phone you carry. Our cool, new app turns both smartphones into field-tested satellite trackers. Learn more.

 

BEWARE THE MARS HOAX: According to a widely-read email, Mars will appear in tonight's sky as wide and bright as a full Moon. Imagine the tides! Don't worry, it's just the Mars Hoax.

FIRST LIGHT FROM THE NEW SOLAR TELESCOPE: Before you read another word, click on the image and take a close look at sunspot 1084:

This is a first light adaptive optics image from the New Solar Telescope (NST) at the Big Bear Solar Observatory in California. "With a 1.6-meter primary mirror, the NST is the largest solar telescope in the world," says Nicolas Gorceix of the observatory staff. "It has realtime correction for atmospheric distortion (adaptive optics), so we can see things in very high resolution--as small as 65 km wide on the sun."

"For perspective," he adds, "Earth is slightly smaller than the whole sunspot including the dark umbra and the daisy petal-like penumbra. The spot is surrounded by the sun's ubiquitous granular field [which shows the boiling motions of the sun's surface]."

Researchers believe that high-resolution studies of sunspots can help them understand how sunspots evolve and anticipate when they're about to erupt. "Next year, we plan to upgrade the telescope with a much higher-order adaptive optics system to get even better images," says Gorceix. Stay tuned to the BBSO home page for updates.

MIDNIGHT SKY SHOW: On August 26th, the two brightest objects in the night sky got together for a spectacular conjunction. Tom Cocchiaro reports from Portsmouth, New Hampshire: "I went outside just after midnight to get some mail I had forgotten and--BOOM! There they were, the moon and Jupiter wedged between two tall maple trees like something from 2001 A Space Odyssey." He grabbed his new Canon T2i and recorded the scene:

Readers, did you miss it? An even better version of this conjunction occurs next month. The Moon and Jupiter will meet again on Sept. 22nd when the Moon is full and Jupiter simultaneously reaches an 11-year peak in brightness. Mark your calendar!

more images: from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from Stuart Atkinson of Kendal, Cumbria, England; from Tamás Ábrahám of Szomor, Hungary; from Mohammad Mehdi Asgari of Arak, Markazi, Iran; from Anton Husek of Klatovy Czech Republic;


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


2010 Perseid Photo Gallery
[meteor radar] [meteor alerts]

 
       
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 27, 2010 there were 1144 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & 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
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
18
1.3 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
  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
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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