On October 23rd there will be a partial eclipse of the Sun. Got clouds? No problem. The event will be broadcast live on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center.
SUNSET SOLAR ECLIPSE--TODAY! On Thursday, Oct. 23rd, the Moon will pass in front of the sun, off center, producing a partial solar eclipse visible from almost all of North America. This animated visibility map shows when to look. The event will be particularly beautiful in the Central and Eastern time zones where maximum eclipse occurs at sunset. Science@NASA has the full story.
LOTS OF SOLAR FLARES: Solar activity is high. Since the week began, giant sunspot AR2192 has produced 27 C-class solar flares, 8 M-class flares, and 2 X-flares. (What do these classifications mean? Check out the Richter Scale of Solar Flares.) The most powerful eruption so far was an X1.6-category blast on Oct 22nd:
Remarkably, not one of the explosions so far has hurled a significant CME toward Earth. The primary effect of the flares has been to ionize Earth's upper atmosphere, causing a series of short-lived HF radio communications blackouts. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.
Earth-effects could increase in the days ahead. AR2192 has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful explosions, and the active region is turning toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 95% chance of M-class flares and a 55% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice
Because the sunspot is so large--now about as wide as the planet Jupiter--people are beginning to notice it at sunset when the sun is dimmed by clouds or haze. Pilot Brian Whittaker took this picture on Oct. 21st while flying 36,000 ft over Resolute, Nunavut, Canada:
"I was impressed to photograph the giant sunspot as the sun set over Arctic Canada," says Whittaker. "Actually, the sun was temporarily rising because of our great relative speed over the lines of longitude at N75 degrees! Note the green upper rim."
Photographers beware: Do not look at the sun through unfiltered optics. Even when dimmed by clouds or haze, sunlight amplified by camera lenses can cause serious eye damage. If you decide to photograph the low-hanging sun, use your camera's LCD screen for viewfinding. Better yet, buy a solar telescope.
Space Weather Photo Gallery
Aurora Photo Gallery
Comet Photo Gallery
Eclipse Photo Gallery
Every night, a network
all-sky cameras scans the skies above the United
States for meteoritic fireballs. Automated software
maintained by NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office
calculates their orbits, velocity, penetration depth
in Earth's atmosphere and many other characteristics.
Daily results are presented here on Spaceweather.com.
On Oct. 22, 2014, the network reported 60 fireballs.
(26 sporadics, 23 Orionids, 4 Leonis Minorids, 3 Southern Taurids, 2 chi Taurids, 1 epsilon Geminid, 1 lambda Draconid)
In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth. The orbits are color-coded by velocity, from slow (red) to fast (blue). [Larger image] [movies]
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
all the time.
October 23, 2014 there were 1508
potentially hazardous asteroids.
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.
official U.S. government space weather bureau
first place to look for information about sundogs,
pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO
is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial
and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
the NOAA Space Environment Center
underlying science of space weather