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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 340.7 km/sec
density: 1.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
2148 UT Apr22
24-hr: C2
2148 UT Apr22
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 22 Apr 12
A new sunspot is groing at the circled location, further boosting the sunspot number. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 147
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 21 Apr 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
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 21 Apr 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 149 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 22 Apr 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.6 nT
Bz: 2.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 21 Apr 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Apr 22 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
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: 2012 Apr 22 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
25 %
MINOR
05 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
30 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Sunday, Apr. 22, 2012
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

LOW SUNSET CONJUNCTION: If you have a clear view of the western horizon, look there tonight, Sunday April 22nd, just after the sun goes down. Jupiter is shining close to an exquisitely-thin crescent Moon. It's a nice photo-op. images: #1, #2, #3, #4.

METEOR SHOWER RECAP: According to the International Meteor Organization, the Lyrid meteor shower peaked on April 22nd around 0000 UT with a maximum between 20 and 30 meteors per hour. This doesn't place the Lyrids among the year's best showers, but many observers were pleasantly surprised. "This year's Lyrid shower was much better than I expected! I saw dozens of meteors, mostly Lyrids, nice and quick ones," reports Monika Landy-Gyebnar, who caught this Lyrid over the glow of her hometown Veszprem, Hungary:

The meteors were serenaded by nightingales. "The birds arrived here about a week ago and they were constantly singing, which made the observation even more memorable!" she adds. "Imagine being out at night, surrounded by nightingales, with a bright Milky Way and meteors falling through our atmosphere - a wonderful celebration of Earth Day in 2012 which coincided with the Lyrid maximum!"

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Shawn Malone near Marquette, Michigan; from Jimmy Westlake of Stagecoach, Colorado; from Darren Baskill of East Sussex, UK; from Brian Emfinger of Ozark, Arkansas; from Ivan Majchrovic of Marianka, Slovakia; from Peter Meadows of Chelmsford, Essex, UK; from Ireneusz Nowak of Wroclaw, Poland; from Michael Noble of Alberta, Canada;

AURORA BOREALIS: Northern sky watchers on the lookout for meteors this weekend were surprised, in many places, by a display of auroras. "Northern Lights were visible most the night as a persistent glowing arc low on the horizon," reports Shawn Malone of Marquette, Michigan. "I spent a clear moonless night on the shore of Lake Superior and saw some nice Lyrid meteors cutting through the auroras."

The auroras was caused by the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), which tipped south and opened a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in to fuel the display. A minor CME might have also swept past Earth during the early hours of Aprill 22nd, further amplifying the lights. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

For the record, Lyrid meteors disintegrate in Earth's atmosphere a little lower than most auroras, so the two phenomena do not entirely overlap. Visually, if not physically, however, it was a beautiful coincidence. Browse the links for more examples: from Yuichi Takasaka of Lumby, British Columbia, Canada; from Mark Nolan of Culdaff Beach, Ireland.

  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 April 22, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 GP1
Apr 21
9 LD
--
26 m
2012 HN1
Apr 21
5.2 LD
--
18 m
2012 HE
Apr 22
6.9 LD
--
31 m
2012 HE2
Apr 24
8.9 LD
--
28 m
2012 HQ
Apr 24
9.8 LD
--
42 m
2012 HM
Apr 28
1.4 LD
--
67 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
--
1.6 km
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
--
43 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
--
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
--
5.7 km
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2002 AC
Jun 16
62.2 LD
--
1.2 km
1999 BJ8
Jun 16
68.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2005 GO21
Jun 21
17.1 LD
--
2.2 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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