You are viewing the page for Dec. 13, 2006
  Select another date:
<<back forward>>
SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids

SpaceWeather.com
Science news and information about the Sun-Earth environment.

SPACE WEATHER
Current
Conditions

Solar Wind
speed: 645.0 km/s
density:
0.6 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2246 UT

NOTE: An ongoing radiation storm has overwhelmed solar wind sensors onboard NASA's ACE spacecraft. Solar wind readings reported above are temporarily unreliable.

X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max:
C1 1825 UT Dec13
24-hr: X3 0240 UT Dec13
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT

Daily Sun: 13 Dec '06

Sunspot 930 has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Credit:
SOHO/MDI

Sunspot Number: 27
What is the sunspot number?
Updated: 12 Dec 2006

Far Side of the Sun

This holographic image reveals no large sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI

Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 4.0 nT
Bz:
2.7 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2247 UT

Coronal Holes:

THere are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun today. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope


SPACE WEATHER
NOAA
Forecasts

Solar Flares: Probabilities for a medium-sized (M-class) or a major (X-class) solar flare during the next 24/48 hours are tabulated below.
Updated at 2006 Dec 12 2204 UTC
FLARE 0-24 hr 24-48 hr
CLASS M 25 % 25 %
CLASS X 10 % 10 %

Geomagnetic Storms: Probabilities for significant disturbances in Earth's magnetic field are given for three activity levels: active, minor storm, severe storm
Updated at 2006 Dec 12 2204 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 30 % 25 %
MINOR 15 % 10 %
SEVERE 05 % 01 %

High latitudes
0-24 hr 24-48 hr
ACTIVE 35 % 30 %
MINOR 15 % 15 %
SEVERE 05 % 05 %

What's Up in Space -- 13 Dec 2006
Subscribe to Space Weather News

Would you like a call when auroras appear over your hometown? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

METEOR SHOWER: The Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight. Start watching around 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Dec. 13th. The display will start small but grow in intensity as the night wears on. By Thursday morning, Dec. 14th, people in dark, rural areas could see one or two Geminids every minute. [full story] [sky map]

X-FLARE: Sunspot 930 has unleashed another big solar flare, an X3-class explosion at 0240 UT on Dec. 13th. In Huirangi, New Zealand, photographer Andy Dodson caught the spot in mid-flare:


Photo details: Dec. 13, 2006, 0350 UT; Coronado SolarMax40, Stellarvue 80.

As a result of the blast, a radiation storm is underway. Based on the energy and number of solar protons streaming past Earth, NOAA ranks the storm as category S2: satellites may experience some glitches and reboots, but astronauts are in no danger.

The explosion hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth: movie. Sky watchers should be alert for auroras when it arrives on Dec. 14th. (Note: In the movie, the CME is barely visible through a snowstorm of streaks and speckles. That "snow" is caused by solar protons peppering SOHO's digital camera.)

PASTEL SUN: "I've been watching sunspot 930 since it first appeared last week," says artist Mark Seibold of Troutdale, Oregon. Inspired by the view through his Coronado SolarMax40, he made these pastel sketches:

Magnetic fields and hot plasma emerging from the sunspot's dark core reminded Seibold of "anatomical forms being born from a black pool. It conjures up William Herschel's assertion that 'the sun is richly stored with inhabitants.'"

Clearly, the sun's not just a star--it's a muse. Solar activity is surging, so grab your pastels.

BONUS: STS-116 Night Launch Photo Gallery



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 13 Dec 2006 there were 836 known Potentially
Hazardous Asteroids

Dec 2006 Earth-asteroid encounters
ASTEROID

 DATE
(UT)

MISS DISTANCE

MAG.

 SIZE
2006 WQ127

Dec. 2

7.9 LD

19

~94 m
2006 WB

Dec. 5

7.0 LD

17

~130 m
2004 XL14

Dec. 20

10.1 LD

15

~225 m
Notes: LD is a "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 Environment Center -- The official U.S. government bureau for real-time monitoring of solar and geophysical events, research in solar-terrestrial physics, and forecasting solar and geophysical disturbances.

Atmospheric Optics -- the first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.

Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. (European Mirror Site)

Daily Sunspot Summaries -- from the NOAA Space Environment Center.

Current Solar Images -- from the National Solar Data Analysis Center

X-ray images of the Sun: GOES-12 and GOES-13

Recent Solar Events -- a summary of current solar conditions from lmsal.com.

What is the Magnetosphere?

The Lion Roars -- visit this site to find out what the magnetosphere sounds like.

List of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Observable Comets -- from the Harvard Minor Planet Center.

Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from NASA's ACE spacecraft.

How powerful are solar wind gusts? Not very! Read this story from Science@NASA.

More Real-time Solar Wind Data -- from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Proton Monitor.

Lists of Coronal Mass Ejections -- from 1996 to 2006

Mirages: Mirages in Finland; An Introduction to Mirages;

NOAA Solar Flare and Sunspot Data: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; Jan-Mar 2006; Apr-Jun 2006; Jul-Sep 2006; Oct-Dec 2006.

This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips: email


©2013 Spaceweather.com. All rights reserved.