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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 429.9 km/sec
density: 5.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1719 UT Jan06
24-hr: C2
1125 UT Jan06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Jan 12
All of the sunspots on the Earthside of the sun are magnetically simple and quiet. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 99
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 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 05 Jan 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 141 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 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: 5.6 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Jan 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jan 06 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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 06 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
30 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
40 %
MINOR
20 %
20 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Friday, Jan. 6, 2012
What's up in space
 

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

 
Meteorite jewelry

INCOMING CME? A magnetic filament in the sun's northern hemisphere erupted on Jan. 5th and hurled a CME in the general direction of Earth. At first it appeared that the cloud would sail north of Earth and completely miss our planet. Subsequent work by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab suggests a different outcome: the CME might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 7th. Click to view an animated forecast track:

NOAA forecasters were already calling for a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Jan. 7-8 in response to a high-speed solar wind stream. The arrival of a CME would boost the chances even more. Storm alerts: text, voice.

AURORA WATCH: Even without a CME, auroras are lighting up the Arctic Circle. Sindre Nedrevåg sends this picture taken Jan. 5th from Bodø, Norway:

"The Northern Lights sparkled above us for nearly 20 minutes. It was awesome," says Nedrevåg. "These were the first auroras I've seen and photographed in 2012."

more images: from Earl Jones of Fairbanks, AK; from Andy Keen of Inari, Northern Lapland, Finland; from Marketa Stanczykova of Chatanika Alaska; from Gaute Frøystein of Bodoe, Norway;

DOOMED MARS PROBE PHOTOGRAPHED: Russia's Mars probe, Phobos-Grunt, has been stranded in Earth orbit since a main engine failure in early November. The spacecraft is now sinking back into Earth's atmosphere, with re-entry expected in mid-January. "On New Year's Day, I traveled to the French Riviera (850km from home) to record Phobos-Grunt's last passage over France," says astrophotographer Thierry Legault. This is the picture he took through a 14-inch telescope:

"It appears that the satellite is moving backwards with its solar panels deployed but not receiving the sunlight," notes Legault. "This may explain why Phobos-Grunt had no energy to communicate with Earth." An 80-second video shows the probe soaring almost directly above Legault's observing site on the Plateau de Calern. "At the scale of the video the satellite would cross your screen in about 1/30s," he says.

While a telescope is required to see the outlines of the spacecraft, the human eye alone is sufficient to see Phobos-Grunt as a speck of light in the night sky. On high passes, it glows almost as brightly as a first magnitude star. Check SpaceWeather's online Satellite Tracker or your smartphone for flyby times.

  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 6, 2012 there were 1272 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 YB63
Jan 2
0.6 LD
--
5 m
2011 YL28
Jan 4
3.7 LD
--
45 m
2011 YH40
Jan 16
5.4 LD
--
116 m
1991 VK
Jan 25
25.3 LD
--
1.9 km
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
73.8 LD
--
1.4 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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