SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 533.4 km/sec
density: 5.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1636 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B1
1505 UT Aug04
24-hr: B6
0920 UT Aug04
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 1630 UT
Daily Sun: 04 Aug 10
Two new sunspots are emerging over the sun's eastern limb. To see them, click on the image and inspect the circled areas. Credit: SDO/HMI
Resolutions: 4096, 1024, 512
Sunspot number: 13
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 03 Aug 2010

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2010 total: 35 days (16%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 803 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days
explanation | more info
Updated 03 Aug 2010


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 81 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 03 Aug2010

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 9.0 nT
Bz: 5.1 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1637 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2010 Aug 03 2201 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
05 %
05 %
CLASS X
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 Aug 03 2201 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
40 %
30 %
MINOR
20 %
40 %
SEVERE
05 %
20 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
45 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
45 %
SEVERE
10 %
35 %
What's up in Space
August 4, 2010

ANDROID FLYBYS: Our field-tested satellite tracker is now available for Android phones. Features: Global predictions and flyby alarms! Learn more.

 

GEOMAGNETIC STORM--MORE TO COME? The solar storm of August 1st sent two CMEs toward Earth. The first one arrived yesterday, August 3rd, sparking mild but beautiful Northern Lights over Europe and North America (see below). The second CME is still en route. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of major geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on August 4th or 5th. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on August 3rd at 1740 UT. The impact sparked a G2-class geomagnetic storm that lasted nearly 12 hours--time enough for auroras to spread all the way from Europe to North America. Travis Novitsky sends this picture from Grand Portage, Minnesota:

"The Northern Lights made a pretty good showing last night!" says Novitsky. "I was lucky to catch them during a break in the clouds. I took all these pictures between 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m local time using my Canon 5D Mark II."

"Wow!" says photographer Tony Wilder of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. "It was a sweet surprise to catch the auroras over Lake Wissota. The Northern Lights never get old."

With the possible arrival of a second CME on August 4th, tonight might be even better than last night. Imagine that as you browse the gallery.

NEW IMAGES: August Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Augusts: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003]

COMPLEX ERUPTION ON THE SUN: On August 1st, the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. This extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun's northern hemisphere in mid-eruption:

Different colors in the image represent different gas temperatures ranging from ~1 to 2 million degrees K. Watch the movie. Some parts of the sun heat up during the eruption, other parts cool down. These are priceless data for solar physicists working to understand the inner workings of solar storms. Stay tuned for more movies and analyses in the days ahead.


Solar Eclipse Photo Gallery
[NASA: South Pacific Eclipse] [animated map]

 
       
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 August 4, 2010 there were 1140 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2010 KZ117
Aug 4
72.6 LD
18
1.0 km
6239 Minos
Aug 10
38.3 LD
18
1.1 km
2005 NZ6
Aug 14
60.5 LD
18
1.3 km
2002 CY46
Sep 2
63.8 LD
16
2.4 km
2010 LY63
Sep 7
56.1 LD
18
1.2 km
2009 SH2
Sep 30
7.1 LD
25
45 m
1998 UO1
Oct 1
32.1 LD
17
2.1 km
2005 GE59
Oct 1
77 LD
18
1.1 km
2001 WN5
Oct 10
41.8 LD
18
1.0 km
1999 VO6
Oct 14
34.3 LD
17
1.8 km
1998 TU3
Oct 17
69.1 LD
15
5.3 km
1998 MQ
Oct 23
77.7 LD
17
2.0 km
2007 RU17
Oct 29
40.6 LD
18
1.0 km
2003 UV11
Oct 30
5 LD
19
595 m
3838 Epona
Nov 7
76.8 LD
16
3.4 km
2005 QY151
Nov 16
77.7 LD
18
1.3 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 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.
STEREO
  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...
   
Cool links:
 
 
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Christmas Cards
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movies of the sun taken by astrophotographer Gary Palmer
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.