You are viewing the page for Apr. 2, 2012
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 359.0 km/sec
density: 0.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2300 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
2220 UT Apr02
24-hr: C1
0827 UT Apr02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Apr 12
Some dark cores are forming inside the boundaries of old sunspot AR1429. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 50
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 01 Apr 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 01 Apr 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 107 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 01 Apr 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.1 nT
Bz: 4.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 02 Apr 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Apr 02 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: 2012 Apr 02 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
25 %
SEVERE
05 %
15 %
 
Monday, Apr. 2, 2012
What's up in space
 

Can you drop a probe on a comet? A new iPhone game from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory puts you in control of the Rosetta spacecraft as it prepares to intercept Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Download it now.

 
Comet Quest for iOS

VENUS INVADES THE PLEIADES: This week, Venus and the Pleiades star cluster will meet in the evening sky for a rare and beautiful conjunction. Get the full story from Science@NASA. Images: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

SPONTANEOUS AURORAS: Solar activity is low, but solar storms are not always required to make auroras appear around thee Arctic Circle. Ole C. Salomonsen photographed this spontaneous display last night over Tromsø, Norway:

"No auroras were forecast, but when the magnetograms at the University of Tromsø started to move, and I thought I should go outside for a look," says Salomonsen. "At times the display was very vivid and strong!"

The reason for this show was the interplanetary magnetic field, or IMF. On April 1st the IMF tipped south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetospherre. Solar wind poured in to fuel the auroras. (So the sun was involved after all.)

more images: from Matt Melnyk of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; from B.Art Braafhart of Salla, Finnish Lapland

SPRITE SEASON BEGINS: The first sprites of summer are starting to appear in the skies of North America. The strange thing is, summer is almost three months away. "Sprite season is beginning early this year," says Thomas Ashcraft, who photographed these specimens on March 30th from his observatory in New Mexico:

"At precisely two minutes and twenty-six seconds after midnight March 30, 2012 there was an incredibly powerful bolt of lightning in the vicinity of Woodward, Oklahoma that spawned these red sprites," says Ashcraft. "I could see them from two states away!" He also recorded VLF and shortwave radio emissions from the cluster, which you can hear as the soundtrack to this video.

Sprites are electrical discharges that come out of the top of thunderclouds, opposite ordinary lightning bolts which plunge toward Earth. Sprites can tower as high as 90 km above ground. That makes them a form of space weather as they overlap the zone of auroras, meteors, and noctilucent clouds.

Because they are associated with lightning, sprites are most often seen in summer months, "but in the past few days sprites have been reported in Texas (particularly near the Mexican border) as well as here in New Mexico," notes Ashcraft.

So if there's lightning where you live, be alert for sprites.


February 2012 Aurora Gallery
[previous Februaries: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002]

  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 April 2, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 GE
Mar 28
3.6 LD
--
20 m
2012 FV23
Mar 30
6.6 LD
--
36 m
2012 EG5
Apr 1
0.6 LD
--
59 m
2012 FW35
Apr 1
8.3 LD
--
23 m
2012 FQ62
Apr 2
5.6 LD
--
31 m
2012 FS52
Apr 2
8.9 LD
--
47 m
2012 FH58
Apr 3
3.7 LD
--
16 m
2012 FA57
Apr 4
1.1 LD
--
28 m
2012 GD
Apr 10
9.3 LD
--
16 m
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
--
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
--
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
--
43 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
--
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
--
5.7 km
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
--
1.1 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
©2010 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.