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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 474.2 km/sec
density: 3.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A3
2025 UT Apr14
24-hr: A3
2025 UT Apr14
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 14 Apr. 10
Sunspot 1062 has decayed and is now almost invisible. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 14
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 13 Apr 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 7 days (7%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 777 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 13 Apr 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 75 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 13 Apr 2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.7 nT
Bz: 8.5 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Apr 14 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 14 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 14, 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.


ROBOT TO JOIN ISS CREW: NASA announced today that a humanoid robot named "R2" (short for Robonaut 2) will join the crew of the International Space Station. Space shuttle Discovery will carry R2 to the orbiting outpost in Sept. 2010. R2 will be confined to operations in the station's Destiny laboratory. However, future enhancements and modifications may allow it to move more freely around the station's interior or outside the complex.

OMG! HUGE PROMINENCE: One of the biggest prominences in years erupted from the sun's northwestern limb yesterday. The massive plasma-filled structure rose up and burst during a ~2 hour period around 0900 UT on April 13th. Observers in Europe had a great view:

Jo Dahlmans of Ulestraten, The Netherlands, took the picture using his Coronado Personal Solar Telescope. "The sight of this massive prominence making its way through space was just amazing," he says. "I'm glad I caught it."

Updated: The eruption hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME, movie) into space. The expanding cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field around April 15th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of polar geomagnetic activity when the CME arrives.

more images: from Andy Devey of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England; from Mark Townley of Brierley Hill, West Midlands, UK; from Steve Wainwright of Gower, South Wales UK; from Patrick Bornet of Saint Martin sur Nohain, Nièvre, France; from Robert Arnold of Isle of Skye, Scotland; from Les Observateurs Associés au Pic du Midi, France; from Gianfranco Meregalli of Milano Italy;

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN THE USA: On Saturday, April 11th, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field. The impact caused a G2-class geomagnetic storm and, for the first time this year, ignited auroras over the continental United States. "The lights were bright enough to produce a reflection from the surface of Lake Superior," says photographer Shawn Malone, who recorded the scene from a beach in Marquette, Michigan:

Northern Lights were also spotted in Maine, Vermont, Wisonsin and Minnesota. Mostly the lights were dim and required a photographic exposure of some tens of seconds for full effect. Nevertheless, they were there.

"Lower 48" sightings of auroras are a sign: The deep solar minimum of 2008-2009 has come to an end and a new solar cycle is gaining strength. If forecasters are correct, Solar Max is just two to three years away. Are you ready?

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 14, 2010 there were 1117 potentially hazardous asteroids.
April 2010 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Miss Distance
2010 GV23
April 5
2.1 LD
12 m
2010 GF7
April 8
2.8 LD
30 m
2010 GA6
April 9
1.1 LD
27 m
2010 GM23
April 13
3.4 LD
47 m
2005 YU55
April 19
5.9 LD
185 m
2009 UY19
April 23
8.8 LD
87 m
2002 JR100
April 29
8.0 LD
65 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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