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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 511.9 km/sec
density: 1.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A7
2315 UT Apr02
24-hr: A7
2315 UT Apr02
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 02 Apr. 10
Neither sunspot 1057 nor sunspot 1059 pose a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 25
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 31 Mar 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 6 days (7%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 776 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 31 Mar 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 31 Mar 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.3 nT
Bz: 2.9 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on April 5th or 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Apr 02 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
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 Apr 02 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
April 2, 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 WATCH: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing geomagnetic disturbances at high latitudes. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for last-chance auroras. The midnight sun is coming!

April 2nd aurora shots: from Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway; from Bernard Marschner of Fairbanks Alaska; from LeRoy Zimmerman of Ester, Alaska

PLAYING HOOKY: Is solar activity bad for the economy? A massive prominence on the sun's northeastern limb seems to be distracting the workforce. "This gorgeous prominence has me mesmerized behind my telescope instead of behind my desk," confesses astrophotographer Alan Friedman, who sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Buffalo, New York:

"Please don't tell my boss!"

Also, he notes, "the distance between the uprights of this massive prominence measures about 90,000 miles... an easy goal with the Earth as a soccer ball."

Readers, if you have a solar telescope, today would be a good day to play hooky.

more images: from Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex, UK; from Eric Roel of Valle de Bravo, Mexico; from John Minnerath of Crowheart, Wyoming; from Steve Wainwright of Gower S.Wales UK; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from James Kevin Ty of Manila , Philippines; from Gernot Lausen of Fleckeby, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany; from Aleksander Trebacz of Niepolomice, Poland; from Matt Wastell of Brisbane, Australia; from John Nassr of Baguio, Philippines; from Marco Vidovic of Stojnci, Slovenia; from Peter Paice of Belfast, Northern Ireland; from John Vertson of Clovis, CA; from Andy Devey of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England;

SUNSET PLANETS: This weekend, Venus and Mercury are converging in the western sky for a sunset conjunction. At closest approach on Sunday, April 4th, the solar system's innermost planets will be just 3o apart. You can see them easily with the naked eye--no telescope required:

"What a beautiful sight!" says Jens Hackmann. "I took this picture of the pair shining over the Weikersheim observatory dome in southern Germany on April 1st. They were so bright, I could even see them reflected in the rear window of my car."

Observing tip: Look before the evening sky fades to black. Two bright planets framed by deep twilight blue is a beautiful sight indeed. Sky maps: April 3, 4.

more images: from Eduardo Barioni of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba; from Mahdi Zamani of Qeshm island, Persian gulf, Iran; from Adrian New of San Antonio, Texas; from Jeff Green of Nashville, TN; from Paco Bellido of Córdoba, Spain; from Ramon Lane of Torrevieja, Spain;

March Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Marches: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

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 2, 2010 there were 1110 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 PT9
March 3
11.1 LD
305 m
4486 Mithra
March 12
73.5 LD
3.3 km
2001 FM129
March 13
44.1 LD
1.5 km
2010 FU9
March 18
1.5 LD
19 m
2010 EF43
March 18
5.0 LD
23 m
2010 FT
March 27
5.5 LD
33 m
2002 TE66
March 28
48.0 LD
940 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.
  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...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













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