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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 363.5 km/sec
density: 2.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
1703 UT Mar27
24-hr: C3
0014 UT Mar27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Mar 11
A new sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 104
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 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 26 Mar 2011


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 115 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 26 Mar 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: 4.3 nT
Bz: 3.8 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 27 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 27 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
50 %
60 %
CLASS X
05 %
10 %
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 27 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
10 %
MINOR
05 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
 
Sunday, Mar. 27, 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

SOLAR RADIO STORM: Sunspot 1176 is 'radio-active.' Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft sends this report from his observatory in rural New Mexico: "Over the past few days, I have been recording a sustained solar radio storm at 180 MHz. It is a broadband continuum storm of Type I radio bursts, and it sounds like ocean surf. Here is an audio sample from March 27th at 1930 UT. The sun seems to be entering a new phase of dynamism."

SUNSPOT PROFUSION: Sunspots are popping up in many locations across the sun's surface, causing the sunspot number to surge above 100. Leading the way is behemoth active region 1176, shown here in a photo taken yesterday by Larry Alvarez of Flower Mound Texas.

AR1176, the multi-cored ensemble at the bottom of the image, is dragging a pair of long magnetic filaments behind as it cuts aross the solar disk. Two more sunspots are visible in the active region's wake. The entire starscape spans more than 500,000 km from top to bottom--truly impressive.

"I call this picture Solar Rip," says Alvarez, "because it looks like a rip across the stellar surface." With so much happening on the sun, now is a good time to consider purchasing a solar telescope. Browse the links below for inspiration.

more sunshots: from Mike Taormina of Upstate New York, USA; from Rogerio Marcon of Campinas SP Brasil; from Steven Riegel of Albuquerque, NM; from Larry Landolfi and John Stetson of Portland, Maine; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Stefano Sello of Pisa, Italy;

A RAINBOW AT NIGHT: Recipe for a rainbow: Add bright sunlight to raindrops and voila!--a beautiful band of multi-colors arcs across the sky. With such an ingredient list, you might suppose that rainbows can only be seen during the day, yet last night Ethan Tweedie of Kamuela, Hawaii, recorded this spectacular example long after dark:

"It was a moonbow," explains Tweedie. The bright moon played the role of sun, illuminating nightime raindrops falling through the damp Hawaiian air. "I've been trying to photograph a moonbow for a long time. Last night I was driving back from the Volcano there it was!"

Tweedie's long exposure revealed something even more rare: a secondary moonbow. It's the faint 'bow arciing above the brighter primary. Primary rainbows are caused by single reflections inside raindrops; secondary bows are caused by double reflections. It was a night to remember, indeed.


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 27, 2011 there were 1215 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
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
2003 YS117
Jul 14
73.9 LD
--
1.0 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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