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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Solar wind
speed: 290.1 km/sec
density: 0.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
2130 UT Sep13
24-hr: B2
0435 UT Sep13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Sept 10
Sunspot 1106 (old sunspot 1100) poses a slight chance for C-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 26
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Sep 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 41 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 809 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 12 Sep 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 78 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 12 Sep 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 3.9 nT
Bz: 1.1 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 13 Sept 10
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Sep 13 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 Sep 13 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
05 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
10 %
15 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
Monday, Sep. 13, 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


THIS PLANET SMELLS FUNNY: An alien world in the constellation Leo is breaking the rules of giant-planet chemistry, prompting researchers to re-think the make-up of exoplanet atmospheres. Get the full story from Science@NASA.

SUNSPOT WITH A TAIL: Sunspot 1106 is coming around the sun's southeastern limb, and it seems to be dragging a magnetic filament behind it. Michael Borman sends this picture from his backyard observatory in Evansville, Indiana:

If the tugging of the sunspot makes the filament unstable, it could erupt and crash to the stellar surface with a bang that would be very satisfying to photograph. Good news for photographers: The filament is more than 100,000 km long, making it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes. If you have one, take a look!

more images: from Jo Dahlmans of Ulestraten the Nethetlands; from SDO in Earth orbit; from Steve Rismiller of Milford, Ohio; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Brian Woosnam of Old Colwyn North Wales UK

VENUS AND THE MOON: Around the world on Sept. 11th, sky watchers marveled as Venus and the Moon converged for a beautiful close encounter. In South Africa, it was a full-fledged occultation. "The Moon passed directly in front of Venus, completely covering the planet," reports Kerneels Mulder. "I was lucky enough to capture a series of images as Venus re-appeared from behind the Moon in broad daylight." See below:

Take a close look at Venus in the full-sized composite. Like the Moon, Venus has phases, and on Sept. 11th it was only 35% illuminated. With the Moon itself at 19%, this was a close encounter of crescents.

Other, less-close encounters were equally beautiful. Browse the links for global examples: from Marc Rouleau of Dubai, UAE; from Miguel Claro of Lagoa de Albufeira, Portugal; from Mohamad Soltanolkottabi of Esfahan, Iran; from Azhy Hasan of Al-Muhandeseen Q.-Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq; from Amir H. Abolfath of Firuzkuh, Tehran, Iran; from Aymen Ibrahem of Giza, Egypt; from M. Raşid Tuğral of Mogan Lake, Ankara-Turkiye; from Stefano De Rosa of Viverone Lake, Italy; from Gustavo Rojas of Passa Quatro, Brazil; from Moulley Charaf Chabou of Algiers, Algeria;

UPDATED: 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 September 13, 2010 there were 1144 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 LY63
Sep 7
56 LD
1.2 km
2010 RP64
Sep 8
5.9 LD
19 m
2010 RX30
Sep 8
0.6 LD
16 m
2010 RF12
Sep 8
0.2 LD
9 m
2010 RJ53
Sep 9
8 LD
69 m
2010 RS80
Sep 9
2.2 LD
23 m
2010 RM82
Sep 10
2.2 LD
31 m
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
1.9 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
1.0 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
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
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space weather alerts
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