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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 313.3 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2137 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B8
2117 UT Sep28
24-hr: C3
0000 UT Sep28
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2259 UT
Daily Sun: 28 Sep 12
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 97
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 28 Sep 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

Update 28 Sep 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 133 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 28 Sep 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: 1.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 28 Sep 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Sep 28 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: 2012 Sep 28 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
35 %
MINOR
01 %
25 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
10 %
MINOR
15 %
25 %
SEVERE
05 %
50 %
 
Friday, Sep. 28, 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

HARVEST MOON: This weekend's full Moon is the Harvest Moon, the full Moon closest to the atumnal equinox. Before electric lights, farmers working after sunset relied on the light of the Harvest Moon to help them gather ripening autumn crops. Now it's just a pretty sight. Look east for the Harvest moonrise on Saturday night.

FARSIDE EXPLOSION: A sunspot on the farside of the sun exploded on Sept. 27th, sparking a bright flare of extreme ultraviolet radiation and hurling a massive CME into space. Although the explosion occurred on the other side of the sun, it was visible on cell phones around Earth. Here is a screenshot from NASA's 3D Sun app:

The 3D Sun is a great way to monitor events on the farside of the sun. It displays a realtime globe, which you can pinch, zoom and spin to examine explosions around the complete circumference of the star. Extreme UV images from NASA's twin STEREO probes and the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) are combined to assemble the 360o view, now available on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

The active region could flare again. Download the app to track the blast site as it transits the farside en route to the Earthside late next week. Stay tuned for action. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

POLAR LIGHTS: A medium-speed (~400 km/s) solar wind stream is brushing against Earth's magnetic field, sparking intermittent auroras around the Arctic Circle. Frank Olsen photographed these colorful streamers over Sortland, Norway, during the early hours of Sept. 27th:

"The auroras shone right through the bright moonlight," says Olsen. "It was a nice [little outburst]."

The display was not caused by a geomagnetic storm, but at this time of year no storm is required. For reasons researchers do not fully understand, equixoxes favor auroras. During the nights of early autumn, even a gentle gust of solar wind can ignite colorful lights at high-latitudes. Browse the gallery for current images:

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


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

  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 September 28, 2012 there were 1332 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 RK15
Sep 24
8.2 LD
--
88 m
2012 SL50
Sep 27
2.8 LD
--
22 m
2012 SY49
Sep 28
2.6 LD
--
29 m
2012 SJ58
Oct 3
5.9 LD
--
23 m
1998 UO1
Oct 4
60.1 LD
--
2.1 km
2005 GQ21
Oct 12
77 LD
--
1.0 km
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 km
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.4 km
2010 JK1
Nov 25
9.3 LD
--
56 m
2009 LS
Nov 28
55.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2009 BS5
Dec 11
8.4 LD
--
15 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
Trade Show Displays
   
  more links...
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