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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 584.0 km/sec
density: 7.0 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A2
1717 UT Nov11
24-hr: A2
1717 UT Nov11
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 11 Nov 18
A new sunspot is growing at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 11
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 11 Nov 2018

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2018 total: 190 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
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%)
2008 total: 268 days (73%)
2007 total: 152 days (42%)
2006 total: 70 days (19%)

Updated 11 Nov 2018


Thermosphere Climate Index
today: 4.52
x1010 W Cold
Max: 49.4
x1010 W Hot (10/1957)
Min: 2.05
x1010 W Cold (02/2009)
explanation | more data
Updated 10 Nov 2018

The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 69 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 11 Nov 2018

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 3
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.7 nT
Bz: 1.3 nT north
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
Coronal Holes: 11 Nov 18

Earth is inside a stream of solar wind flowing from this large coronal hole. Credit: SDO/AIA
Noctilucent Clouds The season for noctilucent clouds (NLCs) in the northern hemisphere has come to an end. Images from NASA's AIM spacecraft show no NLCs around the north pole.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 09-03-2018 14:55:02
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2018 Nov 11 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
01 %
01 %
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: 2018 Nov 11 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
05 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
25 %
SEVERE
40 %
25 %
 
Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over Lapland has a brand-new website full of exciting adventures in Abisko National Park, Sweden! Take a look at our aurora activities and book your once-in-a-lifetime trip with us today!

 

A NEW SUNSPOT: Breaking a strong of 24 spotless days, a new sunspot is growing near the center of the solar disk. Here it is. Amateur astronomers with backyard solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor its development. After all, sunspot genesis is rare during solar minimum. Free: Aurora Alerts

AURORAS EXPLODE OVER NORWAY: Arriving right on time, a stream of high speed solar wind hit Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 10th. The sky above Norway responded --- by exploding. Markus Varik photographed the outburst of light over Tromsø:

"The solar storm arrived as forecast (thanks Spaceweather!) and we are left pretty awe-struck," says Varik. "It has been tough season so far with lot of cloud-infested nights, but these super-duper auroras will keep us going! Solar minimum may be in the offing, but so are the Northern Lights."

Indeed, from a certain point of view, this display was caused by solar minimum. During the nadir of the solar cycle, sunspots disappear, and they are replaced by holes in the sun's atmosphere--a.k.a., "coronal holes." Spewing streams of solar wind that buffet Earth's magnetic field, these holes are a primary form of space weather during solar minimum. Studies show that coronal holes not only open more frequently, but also last longer when sunspots are absent.

The auroras Varik witnessed were caused by a coronal hole--a big one. The solar wind it is sending our way should suround our planet for the next 24 to 48 hours. Arctic sky watchers should therefore remain alert for auroras on Nov. 11-12. Free: Aurora Alerts.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

TREMORS IN EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD: Solar wind flowing from a hole in the sun's atmosphere has been buffeting Earth's magnetic field since Nov. 9th, sparking polar auroras and geomagnetic "quakes." Stuart Green detected the tremors from his private magnetic observatory in Preston, Lancashire, UK:

"The  solar wind delivered a double blow, moving magnetometer needles around the globe," reports Green. "The first wave arrived on November 9th at approximately 18:00 UT and lasted for 4.5 hrs. The second wave arrived almost 24 hrs later. It was less geoeffective than the first, although no less spectacular according to the beautiful images of the aurora being submitted to Saceweather.com."

The squiggles in Green's chart represent changes in the local magnetic field caused by the buffeting of solar wind high overhead. "The sensor is buried in my garden about 0.5 meters below the surface in an East/West orientation," he explains. "This allows very sensitive (sub nanotesla) measurements of magnetic declination during geomagnetic storms. The plot shows the change in magnetic flux density in nanotesla occurring between readings every few minutes."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

THE WILD RIDE OF THE SPACE PICKLE: The Christmas pickle is a holiday tradition in the United States. Make way for a new tradition: The Christmas Space Pickle! To raise money for their cosmic ray research, the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have flown a payload full of the glass pickle ornaments to the stratosphere, and you can have one for your own tree.

Priced at $79.95, each space-faring gherkin comes with a Christmas card showing your ornament in space. The inside flap tells the story of the pickle's flight and confirms that the pickle has traveled to the edge of space and back again. It also comes with a bonus photo of the pickle in the stratosphere. Hang it on your Christmas tree alongside the pickle itself to impress holiday visitors!

Far Out Gifts: Earth to Sky Store
All sales support hands-on STEM education


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 Nov. 10, 2018, the network reported 33 fireballs.
(25 sporadics, 6 Northern Taurids, 1 omicron Eridanid, 1 November omega Orioni)

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 November 11, 2018 there were 1936 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2018 VT5
2018-Nov-05
0.5 LD
9.8
8
2018 TF3
2018-Nov-05
7.8 LD
20.6
306
2018 VO5
2018-Nov-06
0.4 LD
12.2
16
2018 VB5
2018-Nov-06
16.7 LD
4.9
19
2018 VW
2018-Nov-06
15.4 LD
13
64
2018 VN1
2018-Nov-06
8.7 LD
5.2
21
2018 VU5
2018-Nov-06
7.9 LD
10.1
22
2010 VQ
2018-Nov-07
15.6 LD
3.8
10
2018 VA2
2018-Nov-09
1.9 LD
6.7
14
2018 VV4
2018-Nov-09
6.3 LD
10.6
18
2018 VR3
2018-Nov-09
1.9 LD
8.2
15
2018 VS4
2018-Nov-09
14.7 LD
10.1
26
2018 VD5
2018-Nov-10
4.5 LD
9.4
9
2018 VS1
2018-Nov-10
3.6 LD
10.6
17
2018 VR1
2018-Nov-10
13.2 LD
9.3
18
2018 VX1
2018-Nov-10
1 LD
6.1
11
2018 VY4
2018-Nov-11
5.5 LD
12.6
14
2018 VH5
2018-Nov-11
6 LD
6
13
2018 VA4
2018-Nov-11
3.1 LD
7.4
8
2018 VF5
2018-Nov-13
9.7 LD
6.8
11
2018 UQ1
2018-Nov-13
9.4 LD
12.3
147
2018 VO3
2018-Nov-14
4.1 LD
7.7
15
2018 VX5
2018-Nov-14
3.6 LD
8.3
25
2018 VK1
2018-Nov-14
10.2 LD
2.3
12
2018 VW4
2018-Nov-14
9.8 LD
12.5
46
2007 UL12
2018-Nov-15
16.4 LD
25.8
235
2018 VT4
2018-Nov-18
11.1 LD
4.4
18
2009 WB105
2018-Nov-25
15.2 LD
18.9
71
2008 WD14
2018-Nov-27
7.4 LD
9.3
93
2001 WO15
2018-Nov-28
13.6 LD
11.7
107
2018 VE4
2018-Nov-30
15.1 LD
4.8
30
2018 TG6
2018-Dec-02
3.9 LD
1.4
12
2013 VX4
2018-Dec-09
4.1 LD
6.6
65
2015 XX169
2018-Dec-13
17 LD
5.8
12
2017 XQ60
2018-Dec-21
11.3 LD
15.6
47
163899
2018-Dec-22
7.4 LD
6.2
1232
418849
2018-Dec-23
16.6 LD
17.6
269
2014 AD16
2019-Jan-04
12.9 LD
9.4
12
2016 AZ8
2019-Jan-07
11.6 LD
9.1
224
2013 YM2
2019-Jan-09
7.3 LD
4.3
20
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.
  Cosmic Rays in the Atmosphere

SOMETHING NEW! We have developed a new predictive model of aviation radiation. It's called E-RAD--short for Empirical RADiation model. We are constantly flying radiation sensors onboard airplanes over the US and and around the world, so far collecting more than 22,000 gps-tagged radiation measurements. Using this unique dataset, we can predict the dosage on any flight over the USA with an error no worse than 15%.

E-RAD lets us do something new: Every day we monitor approximately 1400 flights criss-crossing the 10 busiest routes in the continental USA. Typically, this includes more than 80,000 passengers per day. E-RAD calculates the radiation exposure for every single flight.

The Hot Flights Table is a daily summary of these calculations. It shows the 5 charter flights with the highest dose rates; the 5 commercial flights with the highest dose rates; 5 commercial flights with near-average dose rates; and the 5 commercial flights with the lowest dose rates. Passengers typically experience dose rates that are 20 to 70 times higher than natural radiation at sea level.

To measure radiation on airplanes, we use the same sensors we fly to the stratosphere onboard Earth to Sky Calculus cosmic ray balloons: neutron bubble chambers and X-ray/gamma-ray Geiger tubes sensitive to energies between 10 keV and 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Column definitions: (1) The flight number; (2) The maximum dose rate during the flight, expressed in units of natural radiation at sea level; (3) The maximum altitude of the plane in feet above sea level; (4) Departure city; (5) Arrival city; (6) Duration of the flight.

SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly "down to Earth" form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:

The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Reneger-Pfotzer maximum, which lies about 67,000 feet above central California. When cosmic rays crash into Earth's atmosphere, they produce a spray of secondary particles that is most intense at the entrance to the stratosphere. Physicists Eric Reneger and Georg Pfotzer discovered the maximum using balloons in the 1930s and it is what we are measuring today.

En route to the stratosphere, our sensors also pass through aviation altitudes:

In this plot, dose rates are expessed as multiples of sea level. For instance, we see that boarding a plane that flies at 25,000 feet exposes passengers to dose rates ~10x higher than sea level. At 40,000 feet, the multiplier is closer to 50x.

The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.

Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth's magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.

  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
NOAA 27-Day Space Weather Forecasts
  fun to read, but should be taken with a grain of salt! Forecasts looking ahead more than a few days are often wrong.
Aurora 30 min forecast
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Heliophysics
  the underlying science of space weather
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