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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 347.3 km/sec
density: 2.2 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A4
2200 UT May26
24-hr: A5
0435 UT May26
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 26 May 10
A new sunspot may be foming in the circled region. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 16
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 25 May 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 33 days (23%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 801 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 25 May 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 73 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 25 May 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.3 nT
Bz: 2.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach our planet on or about May 31st. Credit: SDO/AIA
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 May 26 2201 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: 2010 May 26 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
50 %
50 %
MINOR
15 %
15 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
50 %
50 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
15 %
15 %
What's up in Space
May 26, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.

 

AURORA ALERT: A coronal mass ejection (movie) is heading for Earth and it could spark geomagnetic storms when it arrives on May 27th or 28th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

SOLAR ACTIVITY: A magnetic filament on the sun became unstable and slowly erupted on May 25th and 26th. Click on the image to launch a 1.2 MB movie recorded by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO):

Unlike a similar filament that erupted on May 24th, hurling a CME now en route toward Earth, this filament was not facing our planet. We should feel no effects from the blast ... other than the impact of photogenic imagery. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory probably recorded the event as well; if so, movies ten times better than HDTV are in the offing. Stay tuned.

SECRET SPACE PLANE: NASA's space shuttle program may be winding down, but the US Air Force's is just getting started. On April 22nd, the USAF launched an unmanned mini-shuttle from Cape Canaveral on a secret mission widely thought to involve reconnaissance. The X-37B can now be seen gliding through the night sky shining about as brightly as the stars of the Big Dipper. On Sunday night, Gary O. photographed it streaking over the treetops of his home in Fort Davis, Texas:

"This was my first chance to photograph the X-37B," says Gary. "It was easy to see. I estimate its magnitude at about +2.8."

The whereabouts of the X-37B were unknown until May 20th when amateur satellite watchers Greg Roberts of Cape Town, South Africa, and Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Canada, independently spotted it. Another satellite sleuth, Ted Molczan of Toronto, Canada, combined their observations to determine the space plane's orbit. With this information in hand, Fetter was able to find the X-37B again the next night; here it is on May 21st passing the 3rd-magnitude star Sadalsuud in Aquarius.

Ready to see for yourself? You can turn your iPhone into a secret shuttle tracker, or check our Simple Satellite Tracker for X-37B flyby times. Readers who photograph the X-37B are invited to submit images here.


May 2010 Aurora Gallery
[previous Mays: 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002] [aurora alerts]

 
       
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 26, 2010 there were 1127 potentially hazardous asteroids.
May 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 JR34
May 14
5.8 LD
21
12 m
2003 HR32
May 17
55.2 LD
17
1.0 km
2010 JN71
May 26
8.2 LD
18
245 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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
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