You are viewing the page for Oct. 6, 2010
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 329.1 km/sec
density: 0.3 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A7
1745 UT Oct06
24-hr: B1
0610 UT Oct06
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 06 Oct 10
There are no sunspots on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SDO/HMI. 2-day movie: 7.5 MB mpg
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 05 Oct 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 1 day
2010 total: 42 days (15%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 810 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 05 Oct 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 05 Oct 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.9 nT
Bz: 2.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 06 Oct 10
A minor solar wind stream flowing from this small coronal hole could hit Earth's magnetic field on or about Oct. 9th. Credit: SDO/AIA. 2-day movie: 11 MB mpg
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Oct 06 2200 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 Oct 06 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010
What's up in space

AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE


COMET PHOTO OP: Comet Hartley 2 is a fine target for backyard telescopes--and it is about to become even finer. On Oct. 7th and 8th the comet's vast green atmosphere will pass barely 1o from the photogenic Double Cluster in Perseus. Details and a sky map are available from from Sky & Telescope.

AURORAS AND LASERS OVER GREENLAND: On Oct. 5th, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth tipped south and temporarily punctured our planet's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fueled this display over Greenland:

Ed Stockard reports from the National Science Foundation's Summit Observatory, 11,000 feet atop the Greenland ice sheet: "We are experiencing clear skies and cooler temperatures here at the summit. These pictures were taken at our Mobile Science Facility where a project named ICECAPS has several instruments studying Arctic clouds. The experiment's lidars (green laser radars) may be seen lancing up into the auroras. The reds on the snow are reflections from a nearby beacon on a fifty meter tower."

"Did I mention cooler temps?" he adds. "The thermometer read -42 C."

Another display could be in the offing. A minor solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field on or about Oct. 9th, possibly sparking geomagnetic activity. Arctic researchers should stay warm and be alert for auroras.

A SUNSPOT SHAPED LIKE A SPACESHIP: The Earth-facing side of the sun is blank. Nevertheless, on Monday, Oct. 4th, Theo Ramakers and Frank Garner of Social Circle, Georgia, managed to find a sunspot--and it looked a lot like the International Space Station:

Indeed it was the silhouette of the ISS making a split-second transit in front of the sun.

"We were lucky to catch it," says Ramakers. The problem was not so much that the transit was fast, but rather that it was so cloudy. "When we started observing, a cloud was in the way. Just in time, however, the cloud got thinner and we managed to get the transit while the cloud was moving off the sun."

Observers who wish to find their own space station-shaped sunspots this week should check for local transit predictions.

Sept. 2010 Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Septembers: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000]

  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 6, 2010 there were 1149 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
2010 TK
Oct 16
4.5 LD
39 m
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.2 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
39.2 LD
1.1 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
1.3 km
2008 KT
Nov 23
5.6 LD
10 m
2002 EZ16
Nov 30
73.9 LD
1.0 km
2000 JH5
Dec 7
47 LD
1.5 km
2010 JL33
Dec 9
16.6 LD
1.3 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
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
2010 Perseid meteor shower
Toys which are out of this world from
space weather alerts
outdoor lighting
Superior Labels - Out of this World!
Christmas Cards
satellite tracking
Compare air travel around the globe with Airfares Flights
©2010 All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.

©2019 All rights reserved.