You are viewing the page for Apr. 3, 2010
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 515.2 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2343 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A9
1810 UT Apr03
24-hr: B7
0950 UT Apr03
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 03 Apr. 10
Neither sunspot 1057 nor sunspot 1059 pose a threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 02 Apr 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 6 days (6%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 776 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 02 Apr 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 76 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 02 Apr 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 6.2 nT
Bz: 1.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on April 5th or 6th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Apr 03 2201 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 Apr 03 2201 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 %
What's up in Space
April 3, 2010

NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.


SHUTTLE SKY SHOW: Thousands of people who gather in Florida on Monday morning to witness the launch of space shuttle Discovery may get more than they bargained for. Fifteen minutes before the shuttle takes off, the International Space Station will soar over Cape Canaveral, past the gibbous Moon and almost directly above Discovery. How cool is that? Photographers in Florida should be prepared for the ISS flyby at 6:06 am EDT followed by the shuttle launch at 6:21 am EDT.

SUNSET PLANETS: This weekend, Venus and Mercury are converging in the western sky for a sunset conjunction. At closest approach on Sunday, April 4th, the solar system's innermost planets will be just 3o apart. You can see them easily with the naked eye--no telescope required:

"What a beautiful sight!" says Jens Hackmann. "I took this picture of the pair shining over the Weikersheim observatory dome in southern Germany on April 1st. They were so bright, I could even see them reflected in the rear window of my car."

Observing tip: Look before the evening sky fades to black. Two bright planets framed by deep twilight blue is a beautiful sight indeed. Sky maps: April 3, 4.

more images: from Geir Øye of Ørsta, Norway; from Mitsuo Muraoka of Saitama, Japan; from Aymen Ibrahem of Giza, Egypt; from Alexei Pace of Rabat, Malta; from Mike O'Leary of El Cajon, CA; from Eddie Ledbetter of Register, Georgia; from Doug Zubenel of Cedar Creek, Kansas; from Martin Gembec of Izera Mountains, Czech Republic; from Mark Peter of Pickerington, Ohio

NORTHERN SPRING: A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and sparking some lovely springtime auroras around the Arctic Circle "Last night, I was able to watch the auroras while at the same time listening to the songs of spring-birds like the oystercatchers who have started to arrive in the North," says photographer Fredrik Broms, who sends this picture from Kvaløya, Norway:

"Here in the North, the nights are getting shorter and the midnight sun is just around the corner," notes Broms. "These could be some of the last auroras we see for a while. If so, it was a very nice way to end a great aurora season."

It's nott overr yet, though. The solar wind is expected to blow hard for another 24 hours or so. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for Northern Lights.

April Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Aprils: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

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 3, 2010 there were 1110 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2001 PT9
March 3
11.1 LD
305 m
4486 Mithra
March 12
73.5 LD
3.3 km
2001 FM129
March 13
44.1 LD
1.5 km
2010 FU9
March 18
1.5 LD
19 m
2010 EF43
March 18
5.0 LD
23 m
2010 FT
March 27
5.5 LD
33 m
2002 TE66
March 28
48.0 LD
940 m
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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
  more links...
©2008, -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.













©2019 All rights reserved.