Hang the Transit of Venus on your wall! Hubble-quality images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory are now available as metallic posters in the Space Weather Store.
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NEAR-EARTH ASTEROID: A relatively large asteroid, just discovered on August 28th, will fly past the Earth-Moon system on Sept 14th only 2.8 million km (7.4 lunar distances) away. 2012 QG42 is about as wide as three football fields and comes to us from just beyond the orbit of Mars. Astronomers who are now monitoring the space rock say it shines about as brightly as a 15th magnitude star. [3D orbit] [ephemeris]
SUBSIDING STORM: A geomagnetic storm that began on Sept. 3rd when a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field is subsiding. The impact at 1200 UT (5 am PDT) induced significant ground currents in the soil of northern Scandinavia and sparked bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Ole C. Salomonsen photographed the display over Naimakka, Finland, on Sept. 4th:
"There I was standing all alone deep in the Finish forest, just in awe of this display of light above my head," says Salomonsen. "This is just one of many images of spectacular auroras I shot on this wonderful night."
Stay tuned to the aurora gallery for new photos of the storm. Aurora alerts: text, phone.
Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery
SUNSPOT AR1564: The next strong flare could be just around the corner. Sunspot AR1564 is growing rapidly and has developed a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class flares. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the active region during the early hours of Sept. 4th:
NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours. Any eruptions will likely be Earth-directed as the active region is turning toward our planet. Solar Flare alerts: text, phone.
Realtime Space Weather Photo Gallery
Realtime Noctilucent Cloud Photo Gallery
[previous years: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011]
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 September 4, 2012 there were potentially hazardous asteroids. 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.
| ||The official U.S. government space weather bureau |
| ||The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena. |
| ||Researchers call it a "Hubble for the sun." SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever. |
| ||3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory |
| ||Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO. |
| ||from the NOAA Space Environment Center |
| ||the underlying science of space weather |