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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 353.4 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: M2
1726 UT Jul27
24-hr: M2
1726 UT Jul27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Jul 12
Sunspot AR1532 poses a growing threat for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 77
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 Jul 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 27 Jul 2012

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 115 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 27 Jul 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 11.3 nT
Bz: 11.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 25 Jul 12
A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole should reach Earth on July 28-30. Credit: SDO/AIA.
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Jul 27 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 Jul 27 2200 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
45 %
05 %
20 %
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
20 %
25 %
20 %
65 %
Friday, Jul. 27, 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

MARS LANDING SKY SHOW: On the same night Curiosity lands on Mars, a "Martian Triangle" will appear in sunset skies of Earth. The first-magnitude apparition on August 5th gives space fans something to do while they wait for news from the Red Planet. [video]

M-CLASS FLARE: Newly-emerging sunspot AR1532 unleashed an M2.7-class solar flare on July 27th at approximately 1726 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the extreme ultraviolet flash:

The explosion does not appear to have produced a substantial CME. Even if it did, Earth is not in the line of fire. This sunspot will, however, become more geoeffective in the days ahead as it slowly turns toward Earth. Stay tuned for updates. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

DELTA AQUARID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet 96P/Machholz, source of the annual delta Aquarid meteor shower. Forecasters expect as many as 15 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on July 28-29. The location of the shower's radiant below the celestial equator favors southern hemisphere observers. Nevertheless, northerners can see it too. For instance, David Hoffmann caught this early delta Aquarid flashing over Ashland, Oregon, on July 24th:

"A movie of the meteor may be found on my Youtube page," says Hoffman.

Although this is a minor shower, it is fraught with interest. Some researchers believe that the delta Aquarids' parent comet, 96P/Machholz, came from another star system. Every delta Aquarid that disintegrates in the night sky could be depositing material from across the galaxy into Earth's upper atmosphere.

The best time to look, no matter where you live, is during the dark hours before sunrise on Saturday and Sunday when the moon has set and the constellation Aquarius is relatively high in the sky. Got clouds? Try listening to delta Aquarid radar echoes on Space Weather Radio.

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 July 27, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2002 AM31
Jul 22
13.7 LD
1.0 km
2012 OQ
Jul 24
7.7 LD
190 m
2012 OU1
Jul 25
8.5 LD
54 m
37655 Illapa
Aug 12
37 LD
1.2 km
2000 ET70
Aug 21
58.5 LD
1.1 km
1998 TU3
Aug 25
49.2 LD
4.9 km
2009 AV
Aug 26
62.8 LD
1.1 km
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
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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