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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 331.8 km/sec
density: 4.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2024 UT Apr10
24-hr: B6
1137 UT Apr10
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 10 Apr 12
The sun is almost blank--no sunspots. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 24
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 09 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 09 Apr 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 95 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 09 Apr 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.6 nT
Bz: 0.8 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 10 Apr 12
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on April 13-14. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Apr 10 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: 2012 Apr 10 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
25 %
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
30 %
35 %
25 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2012
What's up in space

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

Spaceweather Radio is on the air

STORM CLOUD MISSES EARTH: A coronal mass ejection (CME) expected to hit Earth's magnetic field on April 9th seems to have missed. No signatures of an impact are evident in solar wind data. NOAA has downgraded the odds of a geomagnetic storm today to no more than 10%.

LAST AURORAS OF THE ARCTIC SEASON? These days, whenever Arctic sky watchers see the aurora borealis, they inevitably wonder if that was it--the last display until autumn. Spring has sprung and soon the midnight sun will overwhelm the Northern Lights. This photo taken April 9th in Blokken, Norway, illustrates the problem:

"At midnight there was lots of light from the sunset," says photographer Frank Olsen. "And just an hour after this, the sunrise made the the horizon quite bright. These are probably our last auroras this season."

Famous last words? An incoming solar wind stream could trigger one more display this week before the midnight sun takes over. Aurora alerts: text, phone.

more images: from Ole C. Salomonsen of Tromsø, Norway; from Anne Fyhn of Grøtfjord, Tromsø, Norway; from Harald Albrigtsen of Grøtfjorden, Norway; from Sylvain Serre of Ivujivik, Nunavik, Quebec, Canada; from Yuichi Takasaka of Prelude Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada; from Göran Strand of Rörvattnet, Sweden;

ALMOST-BLANK SUN: In case you needed a reminder that this solar cycle is the weakest in decades, take a look at the solar disk. Today it's almost blank:

Only last month, solar activity reached a fever pitch with one sunspot alone dumping enough energy in Earth's atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years. Such outbursts are consistent with predictions that solar maximum is only about one year away. Yet even on the threshold of Solar Max, the sun remains capable of deep quiet. Stay tuned for more ups and downs.

  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 10, 2012 there were 1287 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
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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