You are viewing the page for Mar. 18, 2010
  Select another date:
<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 390.6 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2239 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B6
2305 UT Mar18
24-hr: B7
1250 UT Mar18
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 18 Mar. 10
New sunspot 1056 is forming near the sun's northeastern limb. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 28
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 17 Mar 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 6 days (8%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 776 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 17 Mar 2010

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 87 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 17 Mar 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: 4.0 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2242 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 Mar 18 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 Mar 18 2201 UTC
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
15 %
10 %
05 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
20 %
15 %
10 %
01 %
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
March 18, 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.


NORTHERN LIGHTS: Arctic sky watchers are waiting for the CME to hit. A coronal mass ejection that left the sun on March 14th should deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field sometime today. NOAA forcasters estimate a 30% chance of geomagnetic activity when the cloud arrives. Stay tuned for Northern Lights.

PROMINENCE, CONTINUED: For the second day in a row, astronomers are monitoring an enormous prominence rising over the northwestern limb of the sun. "Twenty-four hours after I first saw it, it is still alive and more monstrous (in a beautiful way) than ever," reports Alan Friedman, who sends this picture from his observatory in downtown Buffalo, New York:

Note sunspot 1054 in the lower right corner

The magnificent arch stretches more than 20 Earth-diameters from end to end. Our planet would easily fit through any of the "little" plasma gaps evident in Friedman's photo. The size of the prominence makes it an easy target for backyard solar telescopes, and many observers say it is a mesmerizing sight as it surges and seethes through the eyepiece. Monitoring is encouraged.

more images: from Andy Yeung of Hong Kong; from Matthias Juergens of Gnevsdorf, Germany; from Andreas Murner of Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany; from Britta Suhre of Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany; from Peter Desypris of Athens, Grecce; from Stephen Ames of Hodgenville, KY; from G. Harmon and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from John Boyd of Santa Barbara, CA; from Rainer Ehlert of San Luis Potosi, Mexico; from Nick Howes using the Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii;

CRESCENT MOON : Yesterday, March 17th, nature artist Sally J. Smith of Wadhams, New York, created her last ice sculpture of the 2009-10 winter season. "I set it up before the sun went down and hoped it would be in good alignment to catch the crescent moon," she says. Indeed it was:

"The winds were warm and the sculpture melted faster than I anticipated, but in the end all was well. Even Venus made it into the scene. A few seconds later the top part of the sculpture fell off." And so winter comes to an end...

more crescents: from Doug Zubenel of Shawnee County, Kansas; from Mania Rahban of Kerman, Iran; from Jeff Berkes of West Chester, PA; from Vasilis Metallinos of Corfu, Greece; from Christopher Calubaquib of El Sobrante, California; from Dan Frissora of Rochester, MN; from P-M Hedén of Vallentuna, Sweden; from Stefano De Rosa of Meugliano Lake (Turin, Italy); from Elias Chasiotis of Keratea, Greece; from Giuseppe Pappa of Mascalucia, Sicily, Italy;

EQUINOX SKY SHOW: Northern Spring begins on Saturday, March 20th. To celebrate the occasion, Nature is putting on an equinox sky show. Look west after sunset for a close encounter between the crescent Moon and the Pleiades star cluster. It's a beautiful view, and a nice way to experience the equal night.

UPDATED: March Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Marches: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

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 18, 2010 there were 1105 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
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.