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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 324.6 km/sec
density: 0.9 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1825 UT May07
24-hr: B3
1538 UT May07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 May 11
Solar activity is low. None of these sunspots poses a threat for strong flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 71
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 06 May 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 06 May 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 102 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 06 May 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: 4.5 nT
Bz: 2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 May 11
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 May 07 2200 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: 2011 May 07 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Saturday, May. 7, 2011
What's up in space
 

Are we alone? Your iPhone has the answer. Download the all-new Drake Equation app to calculate the population of the Milky Way.

 
DrakeEQ for iPhone and iPad

FIREBALLS FROM HALLEY'S COMET: NASA's network of all-sky cameras in the southeastern United States detected a surplus of fireballs on May 7th. The bright meteors came from Halley's Comet, source of the annual eta Aquarid meteor shower. Movies of the fireballs may be found here. According to counts from the International Meteor Organization, Earth is still inside the Halley debris stream, so more fireballs might be in tthe offing tonight. Stay tuned.

SUN HALOES: Yesterday in Belgium, sky watchers were stunned when they witnessed a heavenly apparition in broad daylight. "It was one of the brightest and most complex displays of sun haloes I have seen in 25 years of observing," reports Philippe Mollet, who took this picture:


image with labels | more images

"The phenomenon lasted for more than 30 minutes, long enough to phone and e-mail many friends and colleagues," he adds. "[It looks like] this was observed over a large part of our (little) country."

Sun haloes are caused by ice crystals in high clouds. "This wonderfully bright display proves that you do not need to be in polar regions to see them," notes atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Temperatures in 3 to 6 mile high cirrus are more than cold enough to make the needed hexagonal prism shaped ice crystals. There are two sets of halos, those nearest the sun are made by rays that pass between crystal faces inclined at 60 degrees. The outer halos with widely separated colors are from faces inclined at 90 degrees. See the labeled image for halo names. The huge colourful halo is a supralateral arc. This halo is often very hard to distinguish from the much less common 46 degree circular halo but there are several clues to look for to tell them apart."

more images: from Hendrik Mertens of Londerzeel, Belgium

A FIREBALL THE SIZE OF EARTH: "When the sun rose on May 2nd, I was surprised to see a fully detached fireball prominence at the southwestern edge of the solar disk," reports amateur astronomer Jan Timmermans of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands. "Just imagine, a ball of fire with the size of the Earth thrown high in the solar skies!"

"I was stunned," he continues. "The prominence was rather faint, so I had to use a lot of gain to capture it, hence the noise: 'more gain = more grain.' But I am pleased that I captured it!"

more sun-shots: from Stephen W. Ramsden of Atlanta, Georgia; from John Minnerath of Crowheart, Wyoming; from Lyle Anderson of Duluth, Minnesota


April 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 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 May 7, 2011 there were 1218 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2011 JN5
May 2
8.7 LD
--
42 m
2011 HD24
May 2
5.4 LD
--
35 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2011 HC24
May 12
5.9 LD
--
59 m
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
10 m
2002 JB9
Jun 11
71.5 LD
--
3.2 km
2001 VH75
Jun 12
42.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2004 LO2
Jun 15
9.9 LD
--
48 m
2011 GA55
Jul 6
64.1 LD
--
1.0 km
2011 EZ78
Jul 10
37.3 LD
--
1.5 km
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 km
2007 DD
Jul 23
9.3 LD
--
31 m
2009 AV
Aug 22
49.7 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
Conquest Graphics
  for out-of-this-world printing and graphics
Science Central
  cloud server 2
  more links...
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