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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 521.2 km/sec
density: 2.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B9
1804 UT Sep09
24-hr: M7
1552 UT Sep08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Sep 11
Sunspot 1283 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 47
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Sep 2011

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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 08 Sep 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 110 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Sep 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 5 storm
24-hr max: Kp= 7
strong
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 10.3 nT
Bz: 10.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 09 Sep 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Sept. 11-12. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Sep 09 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
70 %
65 %
CLASS X
20 %
15 %
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 Sep 09 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
25 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
30 %
MINOR
30 %
15 %
SEVERE
10 %
01 %
 
Friday, Sep. 9, 2011
What's up in space
 

Turn your cell phone into a field-tested satellite tracker. Works for Android and iPhone.

 
Satellite flybys

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A strong geomagnetic storm (Kp=7) is in progress following the impact of a CME around 1130 UT on Sept. 9th. This could be the first of several hits from a series of CMEs expected to reach Earth during the weekend. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras after nightfall. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Update: Electrical ground currents caused by the storm have been detected in Norway.

ACTIVE SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1283 is producing flares so intense they are visible through solar telescopes in backyards 93 million miles away. Amateur astronomer Andy Devey photographed this one, and M6-class eruption, from Barnsley UK on Sept. 8th:

The magnetic canopy of sunspot 1283 has an unstable "beta-gamma-delta" configuration tthat harbors energy for more powerful eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-flares and a 25% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

more images: from Bob Yoesle of Goldendale, Washington; from Sergio Castillo of Inglewood, California; from Monty Leventhal OAM of Sydney, Australia; from James Kevin Ty of Manila, Philippines; from Alcaria Rego of Almada, Portugal

MERCURY-DIRECTED CME: On Sept 8th around 2300 UT, the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft detected a significant CME emerging from the farside of the sun. Earth is not in the line of fire, but the planet Mercury is. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab estimate that the cloud will reach the innermost planet on Sept. 9th at 12:00 UT (plus minus 7 hours). Click to view a movie of their CME model:

 

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is in orbit around Mercury, so it will have a front row seat for the impact. Researchers are keen to learn how Mercury's magnetosphere responds to CMEs. In particular, they wonder if CMEs can overpower Mercury's magnetic field and sputter atoms right off the planet's surface. Thanks to the Goddard forecast, MESSENGER's controllers know the CME is coming, and they can prepare to observe the impact.

Interplanetary space weather forecasting is a new thing. It became possible in 2010-2011 when NASA and ESA spacecraft surrounded the sun. Working together, SOHO, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO-A and STEREO-B now have the entire star under surveillance. CMEs can be tracked no matter where they go, which means space weather isn't just for Earth anymore.


September 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004]

  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 September 9, 2011 there were 1244 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
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
1996 FG3
Nov 23
39.5 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 WM7
Dec 9
47.6 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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