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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
 
Solar wind
speed: 320.6 km/sec
density: 3.0 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2346 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: B2
2255 UT Nov01
24-hr: B7
1505 UT Nov01
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2300 UT
Daily Sun: 01 Nov 12
None of these sunspots is actively flaring. Solar activity is low. Credit: SDO/HMI
Sunspot number: 35
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 30 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 30 Oct 2012


The Radio Sun
10.7 cm flux: 108 sfu
explanation | more data
Updated 30 Oct 2012

Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 3 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 4
unsettled
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 8.5 nT
Bz: 0.2 nT south
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2347 UT
Coronal Holes: 30 Oct 12
A minor solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole should reach Earth on Nov. 3-4. Credit: SDO/AIA.
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2012 Nov 01 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: 2012 Nov 01 2200 UTC
Mid-latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
20 %
10 %
MINOR
10 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
High latitudes
0-24 hr
24-48 hr
ACTIVE
15 %
15 %
MINOR
25 %
15 %
SEVERE
25 %
10 %
 
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
What's up in space
 

Metallic photos of the sun by renowned photographer Greg Piepol bring together the best of art and science. Buy one or a whole set. They make a stellar gift.

 
Metallic pictures of the Sun

JUPITER AND THE MOON: The Moon and Jupiter are in conjunction tonight, only a few degrees apart. Look for the bright pair rising in the east a few hours after sunset. [sky map] [photo gallery]

CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 31st around 1530 UT. The impact jolted Earth's polar magnetic field and sparked auroras around the Arctic Circle. Frank Olsen sends this picture from Sortland, Norway:

For a while, the auroras were bright enough to see despite the glare of the nearly-full Moon. "Conditions were excellent for aurora photography," says Olsen. "I captured the Moon with the Pleiades on top and Jupiter to the left. And just over the mountain, Orion was rising."

NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% to 60% chance of continued geomagnetic activity around the poles during the next 24 hours as reverberations from the CME impact wane. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery

AMAZING ICE HALO DISPLAY: On Oct. 30th, sky watchers around the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, witnessed something amazing: A complex network of luminous arcs and rings surrounded the afternoon sun. "I've never seen anything quite like it," says eyewitness Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Solar physicist David Hathaway snapped this picture of the display:


Image credit and copyright: David Hathaway/NASA/MSFC

The apparition is almost certainly connected to hurricane Sandy. The core of the storm swept well north of Alabama, but Sandy's outer bands did pass over the area, leaving behind a thin haze of ice crystals in cirrus clouds. Sunlight shining through the crystals produced an unusually rich variety of ice halos.

"By my count, there are two sun dogs, a 22o halo, a parahelic circle, an upper tangent arc, and a parry arc," says Chris Brightwell, who also photographed the display. "It was amazing."

"Very impressive," agreed onlooker Kyle Winkleman. "This was a once-in-a-decade event for our area."

It might not be necessary to wait another decade for a repeat performance. Some researchers believe that superstorms will become more common in the years ahead as a result of climate change, creating new things both terrible and beautiful to see overhead. Sky watchers in the storm zone should remain alert for the unusual.

UPDATE: Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley comments on the Sandy-ice halo link: "Over the last few days there have been spectacular halo displays around the edge of Sandy from New England to Alabama. Hathaway's image like many others shows several very rare halo arcs, an upper Lowitz, helic and Parry supralateral."

Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery


Realtime Comet 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 November 1, 2012 there were 1343 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2012 UW9
Oct 29
9.4 LD
--
31 m
2012 UU169
Oct 29
3 LD
--
32 m
2001 CV26
Oct 30
68 LD
--
2.4 km
2012 UL171
Nov 3
7.6 LD
--
17 m
2012 UX136
Nov 4
2.7 LD
--
35 m
2007 PA8
Nov 5
16.8 LD
--
2.4 km
2012 UV136
Nov 10
5.8 LD
--
33 m
2012 UY68
Nov 14
6.7 LD
--
43 m
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
1998 WT24
Dec 23
69.2 LD
--
1.1 km
2003 UC20
Dec 29
25.7 LD
--
1.0 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...
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