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<<back forward>> -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 418.5 km/sec
density: 1.4 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2340 UT Mar27
24-hr: A0
1425 UT Mar27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2340 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Mar 09
Yesterday's proto-sunspot failed to materialize. The sun is blank. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 26 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= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
What is the auroral oval?
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.0 nT
Bz: 0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 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: 2009 Mar 27 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 27 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 27, 2009

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


NEW MORNING STAR: Venus is passing by the sun today and undergoing a transformation--from Evening Star to Morning Star. For the next eight months, the brightest of all planets will shine in the pre-dawn sky, changing phases, casting shadows, and occasionally posing with the crescent Moon for a lovely photo-op. A new animation from graphic artist Larry Koehn shows what to expect when you wake up in the morning: play it.

AIR TRAFFIC JAM: "Last night there was a a lot of traffic over my private observatory," reports Tamas Ladanyi of Veszprem, Hungary. "In a span of only a few minutes, I photographed space shuttle Discovery, the International Space Station, and an airplane passing by."

Scenes like this are being reported by sky watchers around the world. Discovery and the ISS are circling Earth in tandem, drawing attention to themselves as they glide brightly across the night sky. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker to see if you are favored with a "double flyby" before Discovery lands on March 28th--airplanes not included.

more images: from Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary; from Richard Glenn of Gold Beach, Oregon; from Ken Scott of Leland, Michigan; from Jamie Jones of Cheney Washington; from Peter Rosén of Stockholm, Sweden; from John C McConnell of Maghaberry Northern Ireland; from Steve Holmes of Laxfield, Suffolk, UK; from Jason Evans of Eastleigh Hampshire UK; from Pat Boomer of Alberta, Canada; from Alan Conrad of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada; from Martin Mc Kenna of Maghera, Co. Derry, N. Ireland;

CRESCENT MOON ALERT: Tonight, when the sun goes down, step outside and look west. You might see something like this:

Ugur Ikizler took the picture just hours ago from Mudanya, Turkey. "Tonight's crescent moon hanging low on the western horizon was a lovely sight," he says. "I photographed it using a Hutech modified Canon Rebel XT."

more images: from Luca Basili of Rome - Italy; from Amir H. Abolfath of Dizin, Tehran, Iran; from Ulrich C. Beinert in an airplane flying over Dresden, Germany; from Bruno Nolf of Otegem, Belgium; from Tunç Tezel of Bursa, Turkey; from Peter von Bagh of Porvoo, Finland

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

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 27, 2009 there were 1048 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
2009 FR
Mar. 16
6.7 LD
22 m
2009 FJ
Mar. 16
4.9 LD
46 m
2009 FW4
Mar. 17
2.8 LD
53 m
2009 FH
Mar. 18
0.2 LD
21 m
2009 FK
Mar. 19
1.0 LD
9 m
2009 DO111
Mar. 20
1.2 LD
117 m
2009 FX4
Mar. 23
6.1 LD
37 m
2009 FD
Mar. 27
1.6 LD
160 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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