You are viewing the page for Dec. 8, 2013
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids Internet Shopping Sites high quality binoculars excellent weather stations all-metal reflector telescopes rotatable microscopes
 
Solar wind
speed: 532.7 km/sec
density: 0.8 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2233 UT Dec08
24-hr: C2
1009 UT Dec08
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 08 Dec 13
Sunspot AR1916 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 104
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 08 Dec 2013

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)
2010 total: 51 days (14%)
2009 total: 260 days (71%)
Since 2004: 821 days
Typical Solar Min: 486 days

Update
08 Dec 2013

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 157 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 08 Dec 2013

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 6
storm
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.0 nT
Bz: 0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 08 Dec 13
Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA.

Spaceweather.com posts daily satellite images of noctilucent clouds (NLCs), which hover over Earth's poles at the edge of space. The data come from NASA's AIM spacecraft. The north polar "daisy" pictured below is a composite of near-realtime images from AIM assembled by researchers at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).
Noctilucent Clouds
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 12-08-2013 11:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2013 Dec 08 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
30 %
30 %
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: 2013 Dec 08 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
30 %
25 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
30 %
30 %
SEVERE
40 %
35 %
 
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
What's up in space
 

Listen to radar echoes from satellites and meteors, live on listener-supported Space Weather Radio.

 
Spaceweather Radio is on the air

METEOR OUTBURST IN PROGRESS: The Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) is detecting an outburst of Andromedid meteors on Dec. 8th. "Meteor rates last night were near 20 per hour (ZHR)," reports Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "The shower could increase in intensity tonight, so we hope observers (especially Europeans) will be alert for meteors." Andromedid meteoroids come from Comet Biela, which broke apart in the 19th century. The shower's radiant in Andromeda is high in the sky after sunset for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. A similar outburst of Andromedids in 2011 was rich in faint meteors. If the 2013 outburst is the same, dark skies will be required to see it. Stay tuned for updates.

GEOMAGNETIC STORMS: A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. When the stream arrived during the late hours of Dec. 7th, a G2-class geomagnetic storm broke out around the poles and Northern Lights spilled over the Canadian border into several US states. Christopher Griffith sends this snapshot from Pillager, Minnesota:

"The auroras were dancing lightly across the sky," says Griffith. "It was quite fantastic and fun to watch despite the temperature being -25 F."

NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of additional geomagnetic storms on Dec. 8th and 9th. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras as the solar wind continues to blow. Aurora alerts: text, voice

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

COMET LOVEJOY'S ACTIVE TAIL: Amateur astronomers around the northern hemisphere are reporting activity in the tail of naked-eye Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1). In Nagano, Japan, astrophotographer Kouji Ohnishi could see big changes in less than an hour of monitoring:

Michael J├Ąger saw the same "disconnection event" from his observatory in Masenberg, Austria, on Dec. 5th. The disturbance could be caused by a gust of solar wind or perhaps an episode of vigorous outgassing in the comet's core.

Comet Lovejoy is now about as bright as a 4th magnitude star. It is visible to the unaided eye from the countryside and is an easy target for backyard telescopes even in urban areas. Monitoring is encouraged. Comet Lovejoy rises in the east just before the morning sun. Sky maps: Dec. 7, 8, 9.

Realtime Comet Photo Gallery

THE GHOST OF COMET ISON: On Friday, Dec. 6th, leading researchers from NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC) held an informal workshop at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. One of the key questions they discussed was, Did Comet ISON survive? It might seem surprising that anyone is still asking. After all, the "comet" that emerged from the sun's atmosphere on Thanksgiving day appeared to be little more than a disintegrating cloud of dust. This movie from the STEREO-A spacecraft (processed by Alan Watson) shows the V-shaped cloud fading into invisibility on Dec. 1st:

The answer hinges on the contents of that cloud. Is it nothing more than a cloud of dust--or could there be some some fragments of the disintegrated nucleus still intact and potentially active?

A key result announced at the workshop comes from SOHO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. According to the spacecraft's SWAN instrument, the comet stopped producing so-called Lyman alpha photons soon after its closest approach to the sun. Karl Battams of the CIOC explains what this means: "Without getting technical, Lyman-Alpha is a consequence of sunlight interacting with hydrogen, and if we are not seeing that interaction then it means that the levels of hydrogen (and hence ice) are extremely low. This is indicative of a completely burned out nucleus, or no nucleus at all."

"The evidence appears strong that at some point approaching perihelion - whether days or hours - Comet ISON likely began to completely fall apart," he continues. "What remains of ISON now is going to be either just a cloud of dust, or perhaps a few very depleted chunks of nucleus. Either way, it's not going to flare up at this point and we should assume the comet's show is over."

"However, we do need to verify this," says Battams. "Hopefully the Hubble team can come to the rescue! In mid-December, Hubble will be pointed in the direction of where ISON should be and they'll try and image something. If no fragments are surviving, or they are tiny, then Hubble will not be able to find anything, but that negative detection will tell us something: namely that ISON is indeed gone for good."

Comet ISON Photo Gallery


Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


  All Sky Fireball Network
Every night, a network of NASA 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 Dec. 8, 2013, the network reported 6 fireballs.
(5 sporadics, 1 Geminid)

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]

  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 December 8, 2013 there were potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Size
2013 WV43
Dec 3
9.5 LD
18 m
2011 YD29
Dec 28
6.1 LD
24 m
2007 SJ
Jan 21
18.9 LD
1.9 km
2012 BX34
Jan 28
9.6 LD
13 m
2006 DP14
Feb 10
6.2 LD
730 m
2000 EM26
Feb 18
8.8 LD
195 m
2000 EE14
Mar 6
64.6 LD
1.8 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 web 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 Dynamics Observatory
  Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
Space Weather Alerts
   
  more links...
©2010 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved. This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.
©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.