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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 452.7 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B4
1812 UT Aug16
24-hr: C1
0026 UT Aug16
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 16 Aug 11
New sunspot 1271 poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 15 Aug 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 15 Aug 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 90 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 15 Aug 2011

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.1 nT
Bz: 1.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
Coronal Holes: 16 Aug 11
Earth is inside a solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2011 Aug 16 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: 2011 Aug 16 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
10 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
05 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
20 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Tuesday, Aug. 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

SPACE STATION METEOR: On August 13th during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, ISS astronaut Ron Garan photographed a spectacular fireball from Earth orbit. NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office confirms that the meteor was likely a Perseid, as opposed to a sporadic (random) meteoroid.

EMERGING SUNSPOT: A big new sunspot is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb. AR1271 has at least four dark cores and it is crackling with small flares. The sunspot's entrance was captured in this 24-hour movie from the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

 

NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. Because of its location near the sun's limb, AR1271 does not yet pose a threat for Earth-directed eruptions. This could change in the days ahead, however, as the sunspot turns to face our planet. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

SUMMER AURORAS: A minor solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field during the early hours of August 15th, sparking auroras around the Arctic Circle. If the impact had occured just a few weeks ago, the midnight sun would have wiped out any Northern Lights, but now August nights are darkening enough to see geomagnetic activity. Göran Strand sends this picture from Frösön, Sweden:

"I was out photographing the moon when suddenly an aurora appeared," says Strand. "It lasted for about two minutes and it was quite big."

Arctic sky watchers should be alert for more summer auroras tonight. NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

August 2011 Aurora Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]


2011 Noctilucent Cloud Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009]

  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 August 16, 2011 there were 1241 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2011 OJ45
Aug 17
4.6 LD
--
29 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
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
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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