On October 8th there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. Got clouds? No problem. The event will be broadcast live on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center.
SPACE WEATHER BUOY LANDS IN DEATH VALLEY: A space weather buoy launched on Sept. 28th to measure radiation levels in the stratosphere has landed in a remote area of California's Death Valley National Park. Students from Earth to Sky Calculus are en route to the payload now. Earlier this month a CME swept away many of the cosmic rays that normally surround our planet, causing a drop in stratospheric radiation. The goal of the Sept. 28th flight was to measure the recovery. Has the stratosphere returned to normal? Stay tuned for answers.
CHANCE OF FLARES: There are eight sunspot groups on the Earthside of the sun. Fully half of them pose a threat for strong solar flares. An eruption today could come from any of the circled regions:
AR2175 is the most potent of the quartet. It has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. The other three have "beta-gamma" magnetic fields that pose a threat for lesser albeit still powerful M-flares.
Mindful of the multiple flare threats, NOAA forecasters say an eruption today is likely. They estimate a 75% chance of M-flares and a 20% chance of X-flares on Sept. 30th. Solar flare alerts: text, voice
Space Weather Photo Gallery
MEANWHILE IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE: While much attention is being paid to the fact that September's equinox kicked off aurora season in the Northern Hemisphere, we should not forget that the Southern Hemisphere has just experienced the exact same equinox. It is aurora season there, too. Petr Horálek sends this example of Southern Lights over Lauder, New Zealand, on Sept 25th:
"The auroras burned very low above the southern horizon here at the NIWA atmospheric research station," Horálek says. "The opened dome is the BOOTES telescope, which is used to detect the optical afterglow of distant gamma-ray bursts. A green lidar behind me reflected from the dome, giving it a green hue."
For reasons researchers do not fully understand, at this time of year even gentle gusts of solar wind can ignite beautiful auroras. Right now Earth is passing through a minor stream of solar wind that has both poles aglow. Browse the realtime aurora gallery for sightings. Aurora alerts: text, voice
Aurora Photo Gallery
Comet 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 Sep. 29, 2014, the network reported 6 fireballs.
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.
September 30, 2014 there were 1505
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