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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 352.9 km/sec
density: 0.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1920 UT May14
24-hr: B2
0058 UT May14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 14 May 11
A sunspot is growing at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 29
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 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 13 May 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 92 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 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= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.8 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 14 May 11
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth around May 17. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 May 14 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 14 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
15 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
 
Saturday, May. 14, 2011
What's up in space
 

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

 
Satellite flybys

NEW SATELLITE TRACKING TOOL: Have you ever wondered, what's orbiting over your head right now? A new satellite-tracking tool called WhatSat can answer that question for you. It's an app for Android phones that tells you what's overhead, helps you find satellites in the night sky, and "tags" satellites you've seen. Many satellite-tracking tools are available, but none is quite like this; view the demo video to learn what makes WhatSat unique.

PLANETARY TRIANGLE: Another day, another alignment of planets. "This morning, May 14th, the 'planetary triangle' created by Venus, Jupiter and Mercury adorned the eastern sky behind my nearby mosque," reports Shahrin Ahmad, who snapped this picture from his rooftop observatory of Sri Damansara, Malaysia:

"I was lucky to have a clear sky today during the hazy season in Kuala Lumpur," Ahmad. (As daily readers know, we predicted that May 14th would be a lucky day--another accurate forecast from spaceweather.com.)

This planetary triangle is part of the Great Morning Sky Show of May 2011. Every day this month begins with a shape-shifting arrangement of bright planets in the eastern sky. One day it's a line, then a trapezoid, then a triangle. What will tomorrow's geometry be? To find out, set your alarm for dawn.

more images: from Kosma Coronaios of Louis Trichardt, South Africa; from Geoff Sims of Turrimetta Beach, Sydney, Australia; from Melissa Hulbert of Sydney, Australia; from Darrin of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia; from Paul Tatum at the National Mall west of the US Capitol, Washington DC; from Elizabeth Warner of Arlington, VA; from Marion Haligowski of Phoenix, Arizona;

MAMMATUS OVER MINNESOTA: On May 10th, a severe storm captured national attention when it dumped golf-ball-sized hail on a Minnesota Twins baseball game. "I missed the hail," reports John Rogers of New Hope, Minnesota, "but I got a nice view of the clouds that formed after the storm passed." He snapped this picture in waning twilight at 8:30 pm local time:

These are mammatus clouds. Named for their resemblance to a cow's underbelly, they sometimes appear at the end of severe thunderstorms when the thundercloud is breaking up. Researchers have called them an "intriguing enigma," because no one knows exactly how and why they form. The clouds are fairly common but often go unnoticed because potential observers have been chased indoors by the rain. If you are one of them, dash outside when the downpour stops; you could witness a beautiful mystery in the sky.

more images: from John A. Ey III of Tucson, Arizona; from Karla Dorman of Burleson, Texas,


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 14, 2011 there were 1224 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 HC24
May 12
5.9 LD
--
58 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
2003 QC10
Sep 18
50 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 SV55
Sep 19
67.5 LD
--
1.2 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
  more links...
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