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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 369.4 km/sec
density: 5.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1909 UT May28
24-hr: B7
1249 UT May28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 28 May 12
Sunspot 1492 poses a threat for C-class flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 83
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 May 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 27 May 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 111 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 27 May 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 1.7 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 May 12
A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole should blow just north of Earth on ~May 31. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 May 28 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
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: 2012 May 28 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Monday, May. 28, 2012
What's up in space
 

It's a once in a lifetime event: the June 5th Transit of Venus across the sun. Watch the world wide webcast sponsored by the Coca-Cola Science Center and NASA.

 
Venus Transit Live

ASTEROID FLYBY: Today, May 28th, newly-discovered asteroid 2012 KP24 is flying past Earth only one-tenth the distance to the Moon. Amateur astronomer Rolando Ligustri photographed the 26-meter space rock during the early hours of May 28th when it was about 350,000 km from our planet: image. Measurements of the asteroid's orbit confirm that there is no danger of a collision with Earth.

AR1492 ERUPTS, CME TARGETS MARS: The magnetic canopy of sunspot AR1492 erupted on May 27th, producing a long-duration C3-class solar flare and hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Mars. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the explosion's extreme UV flash:

Note the shadowy wave billowing away from the blast site. That's the 'solar tsunami' so often associated with the ejection of CMEs.

Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the CME from this blast will hit the Mars Science Lab spacecraft (containing Mars rover Curiosity) on May 31st at 0100 UT followed by Mars itself about 10 hours later. Earth could receive a glancing blow from the cloud on May 29th; more likely, though, it will completely miss.

VENUS SLENDERIZES: As Venus approaches the sun for a much-anticipated transit on June 5-6, the second planet is turning its night side toward Earth. Seen through a telescope, all that remains of Venus is a vanishingly-slender crescent:

Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK, took the picture in broad daylight on May 28th: "This beautiful planet has just slipped below 2.7% phase on it's way to the historic transit on June 5/6. We had clear sunny weather today, so I was able to capture Venus in daylight conditions."

In words and a picture, he explains how he accomplished the daytime shot: "Sun shields were erected to shade the main telescope. In addition, the main tube was wrapped in aluminium foil in an attempt to keep it cool and prevent internal air currents from distorting the view. Note the proper solar filter--i.e. not foil!--covering the full aperture."

The crescent of Venus could soon become a ring. When Venus is less than few degrees away from the sun, the horns of the crescent soetimes reach around and touch, producing a complete annulus. The effect is caused by sunlight-scatteriing particles in upper layers of Venus's atmosphere. It is very difficult to observe, and often only black-belt astrophotographers are able to record the phenomenon.

Keep an eye on SpaceWeather's realtime photo gallery to see how Venus shape-shifts in the days ahead.

ECLIPSE SUNBEAMS: For many observers, the best part of the May 20th solar eclipse is not what the Moon did to the sun, but rather what it did to the sunbeams. Gaps in clouds, leafy trees, and window shades cast pinhole images of the smiling crescent sun onto all kinds of happy surfaces:

"My daughter Antonia was sitting in just the right place," says Tino Hammid of Los Angeles, California. "The crescent images are created by small holes in the closed window blinds that act as a series of pinhole cameras."

Many more pictures of the eclipse--from the sun to sunbeams--may be found in our new realtime photo gallery. It's an experimental service, so feel free to report problems. Click on the link below and start exploring:

Space Weather Real Time Image Gallery
[Submit your photos] [NASA video: Solar Eclipse over the USA]

  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 28, 2012 there were 1293 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
--
1.1 km
2012 KP24
May 28
0.1 LD
--
24 m
2012 KT42
May 29
0.05 LD
--
8 m
2012 KZ41
May 31
8.1 LD
--
44 m
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
2003 KU2
Jul 15
40.2 LD
--
1.2 km
2004 EW9
Jul 16
46.8 LD
--
2.1 km
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
--
1.0 km
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
--
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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