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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 438.5 km/sec
density: 8.0 protons/cm3
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2349 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A8
2134 UT Nov27
24-hr: B2
1117 UT Nov27
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 27 Nov 17
Sunspot AR2689 poses no threat for strong solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

Sunspot number: 15
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 Nov 2017

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2017 total: 87 days (26%)
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%)

Updated 27 Nov 2017


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 76 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 27 Nov 2017

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/Ovation
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 2 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 2
quiet
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 7.8 nT
Bz: -5.9 nT south
more data: ACE, DSCOVR
Updated: Today at 2350 UT
Coronal Holes: 27 Nov 17

Solar wind flowing from this minor coronal hole should reach Earth on Nov. 27-28. Credit: SDO/AIA
Noctilucent Clouds Latest images from NASA's AIM spacecraft show that the 2017 northern summer season for noctilucent clouds has finished.
Switch view: Europe, USA, Asia, Polar
Updated at: 09-03-2017 01:55:03
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2017 Nov 27 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: 2017 Nov 27 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
25 %
40 %
MINOR
10 %
20 %
SEVERE
01 %
05 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
10 %
MINOR
30 %
25 %
SEVERE
35 %
55 %
 
Monday, Nov. 27, 2017
What's up in space
       
 

Lights Over Lapland is excited to announce that our Customizable Aurora Adventures are available for immediate booking! Reserve your adventure of a lifetime in Abisko National Park, Sweden today!

 

GEOMAGNETIC STORM PREDICTED (G1-CLASS): NOAA forecasters say there is a 50% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Nov. 29th when a CME is expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field. The solar storm cloud was hurled in our approximate direction by an exploding magnetic filament on Nov. 25th. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives. Free: Aurora Alerts.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS COMET? Just beyond the orbit of Mars, something is happening to Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 R2). Astrophotographer Michael Jäger has been monitoring the comet from his private observatory in Gamlitz, Austria. "This blue-filtered image taken on Nov. 22nd shows multiple jets near the nucleus and a big blue cloud downstream in the tail," he says.

The comet was discovered in August 2016 by the PanSTARRS telescope on the summit of the Haleakalā volcano in Maui. The primary mission of the PanSTARRS sky survey is to detect near-Earth asteroids that threaten our planet. In the process, it sweeps up plenty of comets, variable stars  and supernovas.

The tail of Comet PanSTARRS is so dynamic, it is changing visibly during a single observing session. Jäger made this animation using frames taken in less than a few hours on Nov. 22nd:

It shows gaseous blobs moving away from the nucleus as well as apparent activity in the comet's inner jets. What's happening? Sunlight could be vaporizing fragile ices in the comet's core, exposing caverns of frozen gas which are puffing clouds into space. Or the comet might be experiencing a magnetic storm. Magnetic storms in comet tails have been observed before--most famously in 2007 when NASA's STEREO spacecraft watched a CME crash into Comet Encke. Encke's tail was ripped into forms akin to those Jäger is seeing in Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 R2).

Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 R2) is currently moving through the constellation Orion, shining with the integrated brightness of an 11th magnitude star. This means it is a suitable target for large backyard telescopes equipped with modern deep-sky cameras. Experienced observers like Jäger may be able to see more action in the nights ahead. Monitoring is encouraged!

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery

A CRYSTAL BALL IN THE STRATOSPHERE: For the first time ever, a crystal ball has visited the stratosphere. The students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched it on Oct. 19, 2017--a combination optics experiment and fundraiser. Watch the video as the crystal orb travels onboard a giant helium balloon 93,000 feet above Earth's surface, stretching, focusing, and inverting the incredible landscape of the Sierra Nevada mountains behind it:

This 800 gram crystal ball contains an embedded model of the Solar System, including the sun, eight planets and their moons. It makes an incredible gift for anyone interested in space.

We have flown only a small number of these heavyweight crystal balls. You can have one for $199. Each crystal ball comes with a unique gift card showing the item at the edge of space and telling the story of its flight. It also comes with a complementary crystal stand so you can display this unique keepsake on a desktop or shelf. QUANTITIES ARE LIMITED.

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

Realtime Aurora 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. 27, 2017, the network reported 29 fireballs.
(28 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 November 27, 2017 there were 1853 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Velocity (km/s)
Diameter (m)
2017 WV1
2017-Nov-21
2.6 LD
7.4
7
2017 WW1
2017-Nov-21
0.4 LD
12.7
4
2017 WA14
2017-Nov-21
0.2 LD
16.4
11
2017 VD13
2017-Nov-22
13.2 LD
16.4
36
2017 VA15
2017-Nov-22
8.1 LD
6.4
35
2017 VZ14
2017-Nov-24
3.2 LD
8.4
33
2017 WZ13
2017-Nov-25
6.9 LD
11
18
2017 WT12
2017-Nov-25
3 LD
14.7
13
2017 VY13
2017-Nov-25
2 LD
10.5
18
2017 WH13
2017-Nov-26
1.7 LD
11.4
16
2017 WQ13
2017-Nov-26
12.7 LD
9.5
20
2017 WC14
2017-Nov-27
7.3 LD
11.1
26
2017 WK1
2017-Nov-28
7.8 LD
8
14
2017 WH2
2017-Nov-30
6.4 LD
16.7
49
2008 WM61
2017-Dec-02
3.7 LD
4.7
16
2017 WS13
2017-Dec-05
9.5 LD
11.3
41
2017 WV12
2017-Dec-09
3.4 LD
10.6
27
2017 WE13
2017-Dec-12
16.4 LD
5.4
28
2017 VS14
2017-Dec-12
15.9 LD
2.8
15
2015 XX169
2017-Dec-14
9.7 LD
6.3
11
2017 VT14
2017-Dec-17
3.8 LD
10.4
105
2011 YD29
2017-Dec-19
17.6 LD
7.7
20
2006 XY
2017-Dec-20
6.5 LD
5
56
2017 WX12
2017-Dec-21
10 LD
11.6
128
2017 TS3
2017-Dec-22
18.1 LD
10.2
136
418849
2017-Dec-22
15.3 LD
17.4
257
2015 YQ1
2017-Dec-22
17.3 LD
11.1
9
2017 QL33
2017-Dec-30
13.3 LD
8.2
191
2015 RT1
2018-Jan-02
19.7 LD
9
30
2004 FH
2018-Jan-10
20 LD
8.5
26
306383
2018-Jan-22
14.4 LD
17.4
178
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

Readers, thank you for your patience while we continue to develop this new section of Spaceweather.com. We've been working to streamline our data reduction, allowing us to post results from balloon flights much more rapidly, and we have developed a new data product, shown here:

This plot displays radiation measurements not only in the stratosphere, but also at aviation altitudes. 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. These measurements are made by our usual cosmic ray payload as it passes through aviation altitudes en route to the stratosphere over California.

What is this all about? 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 13% since 2015:


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.

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.

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.

  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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