You are viewing the page for Oct. 18, 2012
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 516.3 km/sec
density: 0.5 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2344 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C1
2259 UT Oct18
24-hr: C1
2259 UT Oct18
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2259 UT
Daily Sun: 18 Oct 12
A potentially significant sunspot is emerging at the circled location. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 100
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 18 Oct 2012

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
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 18 Oct 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 135 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 18 Oct 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 1 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 2.7 nT
Bz: 1.9 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes: 18 Oct 12
There are no large coronal holes on the Earthside of the sun. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Oct 18 2200 UTC
FLARE
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
CLASS M
10 %
10 %
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: 2012 Oct 18 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
10 %
10 %
SEVERE
05 %
05 %
 
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012
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

ORIONID METEOR SHOWER: Next weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Forecasters expect ~25 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Oct. 21st. [video] [full story] [NASA Chat]

BAY AREA FIREBALL: Last night, Oct. 17th, many people near San Francisco saw a slow-moving fireball exploding in the sky around 07:45 pm PDT. Witnesses report bright flashes of light and sonic booms that shook houses. Using a wide-field camera, Wes Jones caught the meteor disappearing behind the trees in the city of Belmont:

"We don't know yet if the end point [of the meteor's flight] was over land or water," says meteor expert Peter Jenniskens of the NASA Ames Research Center. Jenniskens operates a network of Cameras for All-sky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) near the Bay Area. "Data from the CAMS system should give us an answer [about landfall]. We're analyzing the data now." Stay tuned.

Note: Although Earth is nearing a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, source of the Orionid meteor shower, this fireball was probably not an Orionid. The timing and direction of the meteor do not seem to match the Orionids.

GROUND AND SKY CURRENTS: A medium-speed (~500 km/s) solar wind speed is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, igniting auroras around the Arctic Circle. Last night at the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway, the reverberating magnetic field induced electrical currents in the ground. "When we saw the currents on our monitors, we rushed outside to see the auroras," says Jan Koeman, who took this picture:

"It was a beautiful display," says Koeman. NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle tonight in response to the waning solar wind stream. However, based on Koeman's experience--"This was our sixth night in a row with clear skies and auroras," he says--the odds of a light show seem even higher. Arctic sky watchers should remain alert for auroras on Oct. 18-19, especially during the hours around local midnight. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

SUN HALOS: As the northern hemisphere heads deeper into autumn, and ultimately winter, icy clouds become more commonplace. In other words, 'tis the season for sun halos. Charles Yeager photographed this specimen over Cleveland, Minnesota on Oct. 15th:

"This halo looked extremely large over the farm land of southern Minnesota," says Yeager.

In fact, it was 22 degrees in radius. That's how much hexagonal ice crystals in cirrus clouds bend the light of the sun overhead. Related crystals can also create sun pillars, sundogs, and a variety of other luminous halos. Look around the sun; you never know what you might see.

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]

  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 October 18, 2012 there were 1337 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 TQ146
Oct 16
3 LD
--
23 m
2012 UF
Oct 17
6.6 LD
--
24 m
2012 TE79
Oct 17
5.7 LD
--
20 m
1998 ST49
Oct 18
28.7 LD
--
1.3 km
2012 TD79
Oct 18
7.2 LD
--
59 m
2012 UE
Oct 19
2 LD
--
9 m
2012 TP231
Oct 22
5.8 LD
--
46 m
1991 VE
Oct 26
34 LD
--
1.1 km
2012 UW9
Oct 29
9.4 LD
--
31 m
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.4 km
2010 JK1
Nov 25
9.3 LD
--
56 m
2009 LS
Nov 28
55.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2009 BS5
Dec 11
8.4 LD
--
15 m
4179 Toutatis
Dec 12
18 LD
--
2.7 km
2003 SD220
Dec 23
59.8 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.