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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 355.1 km/sec
density: 4.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2215 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C3
2036 UT Mar16
24-hr: C3
2036 UT Mar16
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 16 Mar 11
A new sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 47
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Mar 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 15 Mar 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 102 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 15 Mar 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 0
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.0 nT
Bz: 4.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2215 UT
Coronal Holes: 16 Mar 11
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Mar 16 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
25 %
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: 2011 Mar 16 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2011
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

GROWING QUIET: The sun is quieting down as the last of the recent big sunspots, AR1169, rotates off the western limb. NOAA forecasters estimate a slight 1% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

EQUINOX SOLAR ECLIPSE: It must be spring. This is the time of year when the sun, Earth, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory in geosynchronous orbit can line up for spectacular sun-Earth eclipses. Only around equinoxes does this phenomenon occur. SDO took this picture of the sun partially blocked by our own planet on March 13th:

Every day from now until April 2, 2011, there will be a short break in the data flow as the Earth moves between SDO and the sun. The length of an eclipse can be as long as 72 minutes and they happen at about midnight at the SDO ground station in Las Cruces, NM (0700 UT). Never before has missing data looked so good.

PLANETS OF THE CARRIBEAN: If you haven't looked at the sunset this week, look! Jupiter and Mercury are beaming side-by-side through the evening twilight. Last night in Puerto Rico, amateur astronomer Eddie Irizarry took a picture which he calls Planets of the Caribbean:

"We have been treated to exquisite sunsets this week," says Irizarry. "Jupiter and Mercury looked great and grabbed the attention of even casual observers."

The evening of March 17th is a particularly good time to look, because you can watch Mercury while NASA's MESSENGER probe goes into orbit around the innermost planet--a historic first. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

more sunset shots: from Doug Zubenel of Cedar Creek near De Soto, Kansas; from Vesa Vauhkonen of Rautalampi, Finland; from Charles Beanland of Gibraltar, Europe; from Marek Nikodem of Szubin, Poland; from Adrian New of San Antonio, Texas; from Aymen Ibrahem of Alexandria, Egypt; from Dr. J. Wayne Wooten of Pensacola, Florida; from Bum-Suk Yeom of Daejeon, South Korea; from Göran Strand of Froson, Sweden; from John C McConnell of Soldierstown Aghalee N.Ireland.; from Michael J. Hutchinson of Longmont, CO; from Paul Gray of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; from Rosenberg Róbert of Adony, Hungary; from Martin Gembec of Jablonec n.N., Czech Republic; from Antoine Chauveau of Helsinki, Finland; from Tamás Ábrahám of Zsámbék, Hungary; from Alfredo Garcia Jr of Lomita, CA


March 2011 Aurora Photo Gallery
[previous Marches: 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 March 16, 2011 there were 1204 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 EB74
Mar 16
0.9 LD
--
18 m
2011 BE38
Apr 10
48 LD
--
1.0 km
2002 DB4
Apr 15
62.5 LD
--
2.2 km
2008 UC202
Apr 27
8.9 LD
--
10 m
2009 UK20
May 2
8.6 LD
--
23 m
2008 FU6
May 5
75.5 LD
--
1.2 km
2003 YT1
May 5
65.3 LD
--
2.5 km
2002 JC
Jun 1
57.5 LD
--
1.6 km
2009 BD
Jun 2
0.9 LD
--
9 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
2001 QP181
Jul 2
35.1 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
   
  more links...
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