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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 352.0 km/sec
density: 1.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Mar09
24-hr: A0
1455 UT Mar09
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 09 Mar 09
The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Mar. 2009
Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 0
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.9 nT
Bz: 0.4 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should arrive on or about March 12th. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Mar 09 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: 2009 Mar 09 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
March 9, 2009

AURORA ALERT: Did you sleep through the Northern Lights? Next time get a wake-up call: Spaceweather PHONE.


AURORA WATCH: Arctic sky watchers should be alert for Northern Lights next Wednesday and Thursday. A solar wind stream is heading for Earth and it could spark high-latitude geomagnetic storms when it arrives on or about March 12th. [gallery]

SAFIR 2: The Safir 2 rocket that launched Iran's first home-grown satellite Omid on Feb. 2nd, 2009, is tumbling around Earth and catching the attention of sky watchers as sunlight glints off its reflective surfaces. "I saw it on March 7th--it was visible to the naked eye," reports Marco Langbroek of the Netherlands. Using a Canon 450D, he photographed the rocket body passing over his home in Leiden and made a brightness profile of the flyby:

"The Safir exhibited a gradual brightness variation, slowly going between magnitude +3 and near-invisibility (magnitude > +4)," he says. "Around the moment of peak brightness, it gives a short bright glint." Langbroek measured the interval between glints: 33.25 seconds. That could be the tumble-period of the rocket body.

Readers, you may be able to see Safir 2 with your own eyes. Check Spaceweather's Simple Satellite Tracker for possible flybys of your hometown. If you don't immediately see the rocket, wait 33 seconds for a glint. It's the best part.

VENUS IN A SNOWSTORM: Fill in the blank. Venus is so bright, it _______.

"Can be seen through a snowstorm," answers Wade B. Clark, Jr. of Lyman, Washington. "Here is a photo taken from my back door while snow fell during twilight on March 7th."

Seeing the planet under such conditions was "truly a delightful surprise," says Clark.

More answers: "Can be seen reflected in ice," says John Gauvreau of Binbrook, Ontario. "Can be seen reflected in water," says Dale Ireland of Silverdale, Washington. "Can be seen in Northern Lights," says Sylvain Serre of Salluit, Canada. "Can be seen through clouds," says Gonzalo Vargas of Cochabamba, Bolivia. "Can be seen in broad daylight," says Denis Joye of Boulogne, France. "Can be seen through clouds in broad daylight," says Piotr Majewski of Torun, Poland. "Can be seen through a Spruce Tree," says Peter von Bagh of Porvoo, Finland. "Can be seen through a dirty window," says Doug Zubenel of De Soto, Kansas.

Is that all? Submit your images here.

March 2009 Aurora Gallery
[previous Marches: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002]

Comet Lulin Photo Gallery
[Comet Hunter Telescope] [Sky maps: March 8]

Explore the Sunspot Cycle

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 March 9, 2009 there were 1037 potentially hazardous asteroids.
March 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2009 DS43
Mar. 1
6.9 LD
32 m
2009 DD45
Mar. 2
0.2 LD
35 m
2009 DN4
Mar. 3
8.1 LD
27 m
2009 EA
Mar. 4
7.4 LD
24 m
2009 EW
Mar. 6
0.9 LD
23 m
161989 Cacus
Mar. 7
70.5 LD
1.7 km
2009 EH1
Mar. 8
1.6 LD
12 m
2009 ET
Mar. 9
9.5 LD
15 m
2009 DV43
Mar. 10
8.5 LD
80 m
2009 EU
Mar. 11
3.5 LD
21 m
1998 OR2
Mar. 12
69.8 LD
3.3 km
2009 DR3
Mar. 14
7.2 LD
225 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.
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