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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 323.8 km/sec
density: 5.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
1752 UT Apr06
24-hr: C1
0000 UT Apr06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Apr 12
With only one significant spot on the Earthside of the sun, solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 50
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 035 Apr 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 05 Apr 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 101 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 Apr 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: 9.0 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Apr 12
A wide equatorial coronal hole is turning toward Earth. Solar wind flowing from the dark gash should arrive on April 12-13. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Apr 06 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 Apr 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
15 %
15 %
25 %
05 %
10 %
Friday, Apr. 6, 2012
What's up in space

Thirty-five new items have just been added to our Meteorite Jewelry collection. Browse the Space Weather Store for something out of this world.

Meteorite jewelry

FULL MOON TONIGHT: The first full Moon of northern Spring is tonight, Friday, April 6th. The timing of this moon sets the date of Easter, which occurs on the following Sunday, April 8th. Go outside at sunset, look east away from the setting sun, and you might see something that looks like an Easter-egg. Enjoy the moonlight!

THREE EXPLOSIONS: Three coronal mass ejections (CMEs) blasted away from the sun in quick succession during the late hours of April 5th: movie. The clouds were propelled by magnetic filaments erupting in various locations around the sun's northern hemisphere. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded this explosion, the most potent of the three:

The movie shows a filament connected to sunspot AR1450 rising up and snapping. In the aftermath of the eruption, an arcade of hot-glowing magnetic loops forms over the blast site as a "canyon of fire" illuminates the empty filament channel.

Remarkably, given their number, not one of the CMEs appears to be heading for our planet. This conclusion is only tentative, however, because of visual confusion among the three clouds. Stay tuned for updates.

HEAVENLY DEJA VU: At first glance, the picture below looks exactly like thousands of others taken this week as Venus passed through the Pleaides star cluster. Look again. The date in the corner says "April 1972." Richard Keen of Boulder, Colorado, took the picture 40 years ago:

Talk about deja vu!

"Thanks to its orbit, Venus' appearance in the sky repeats itself almost exactly every 8 years," explains Keen. "Forty years ago, on April 2, 1972, Venus passed by the Pleiades only half a degree from its position two days ago. It's fun to compare this photo I took back in 1972 with this week's wonderful images."

Venus is exiting the Pleiades now, but as Keen's snapshot shows, there will be a next time--eight years from now to be exact. The next Venus-Pleaides conjunction is due in April 2020. Until then....

more images: from Miguel Claro of Fonte-de-Telha, Portugal; from John Chumack of Mill Creek, Texas; from Carl Bernhardt of Lone Pine, CA; from Laurent Laveder of Pluguffan, Brittany, France; from Aissa Moussa Mohammed of Guerrara, Ghardaia, Algeria; from Kosma Coronaios of Louis Trichardt, Limpopo Province, South Africa; from Göran Strand of Frösön, Sweden; from Alan C Tough of Elgin, Moray, Scotland; from Vesa Vauhkonen of Rautalampi, Finland; from Viktor Veres of Budapest, Hungary; from Andy Dodson of New Plymouth, New Zealand; from Amirreza Kamkar of Qayen-Iran

  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 6, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2012 FH58
Apr 3
3.6 LD
16 m
2012 FA57
Apr 4
1.1 LD
27 m
2012 GD
Apr 10
9.4 LD
18 m
1996 SK
Apr 18
67.2 LD
1.6 km
2007 HV4
Apr 19
4.8 LD
8 m
2011 WV134
Apr 28
38.6 LD
1.6 km
1992 JD
May 2
9.5 LD
43 m
2010 KK37
May 19
2.3 LD
31 m
4183 Cuno
May 20
47.4 LD
5.7 km
2002 VX94
May 26
72.8 LD
1.1 km
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
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
Trade Show Displays
  more links...
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