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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 289.9 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B3
1850 UT Oct04
24-hr: B6
0053 UT Oct04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2259 UT
Daily Sun: 04 Oct 12
Solar activity is low. None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 58
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 04 Oct 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 04 Oct 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 113 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 04 Oct 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.1 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 03 Oct 12
Spewing solar wind, a pair of small coronal holes is turning toward Earth. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Oct 04 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
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 Oct 04 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
15 %
05 %
05 %
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012
What's up in space

Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.

Venus Transit metal posters

FLATLINED: Solar activity is very low. With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun's x-ray output has flatlined. NOAA forecasters say there is no more than a 5% chance of M-flares and a 1% chance of X-flares today. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

SUNSPOTS: Earth-facing sunspots 1579 and 1582 are so large, sky watchers are noticing them without the assistance of a solar telescope. When the low-hanging sun is dimmed by clouds and haze, the two spots can be seen punctuating the sunset:

Lauri Kangas took this picture on the evening of October 2nd from Fort Frances, Ontario. " The sun was easy to photograph safely without any protective filters due to the clouds and smoke from forest fires in northwestern Ontario," says Kangas.

Although these sunspots are large (each one is wider than Earth) they are not very active. Their magnetic canopies contain are simply organized, containing no unstable structures that pose a threat for flares. NOAA forecasters say there is less than a 5% chance of M-flares and a 1% chance of X-flares today.

Caution: Do not look at the sun through unfiltered optics. Even when the sun is low and dim, focused sunlight can damage human eyes. When photographing sunsets, use your camera's LCD screen, not the optical viewfinder.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

ISS CROSSING THE HARVEST MOON: Two nights ago, Bill Reyna of Sussex County, New Jersey, went outside to see the Harvest Moon (the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox) when a winged shadow flitted across the lunar landscape. It was the International Space Station:

Reyna captured the station's silhouette backlit by the Sea of Clouds (Mare Nubium) using a Canon 7D digital camera snapping pictures in HD video mode. "With the ISS moving at 4.6 miles per second at a range of 321 miles, it crossed the lunar disk in only .45 seconds," he says. "I knew exactly when to video-record the transit thanks to predictions from Calsky." ISS flyby alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora 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 October 4, 2012 there were 1332 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
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
4179 Toutatis
Dec 12
18 LD
2.7 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.
  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
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
  more links...
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