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SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids
SPACE WEATHER
Current conditions
Solar wind
speed: 257.9 km/sec
density: 2.1 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: A0
2350 UT Nov30
24-hr: A0
0125 UT Nov30
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2350 UT
Daily Sun: 13 Dec. 09
New-cycle sunspot 1034 is fading away. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 12
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 12 Dec 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 259 days (75%)
Since 2004: 770 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
Updated 12 Dec 2009

Far side of the Sun:
This holographic image reveals no sunspots on the far side of the sun. Image credit: SOHO/MDI
Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 0 quiet
24-hr max: Kp= 1
quiet
explanation | more data
Current Auroral Oval:
Switch to: Europe, USA, New Zealand, Antarctica
Credit: NOAA/POES
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 5.7 nT
Bz: -0.0 nT
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2345 UT
Coronal Holes:
There are no large coronal holes on the Earth-facing side of the sun. Credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope
SPACE WEATHER
NOAA Forecasts
Updated at: 2009 Dec 13 2201 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: 2009 Dec 13 2201 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
05 %
05 %
MINOR
01 %
01 %
SEVERE
01 %
01 %
What's up in Space
December 13, 2009

SPACESHIP SIGHTINGS: Would you like a call when the space station is about to fly over your backyard? Sign up for Spaceweather PHONE.

 

METEOR RADAR: Got clouds? If you can't see this weekend's Geminid meteor shower, try listening instead. The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar is scanning the skies above Texas, and when a meteor passes overhead--ping!--there is an echo. Tune into Spaceweather Radio for live audio.

SURGING GEMINIDS: The Geminid meteor shower is intensifying. According to the International Meteor Organization, dark-sky observers are now counting 40+ meteors per hour. "The Geminids were pretty active last night (Dec. 12/13)," reports Pete Lawrence of Selsey, UK. "Here's one I caught on camera zipping past the star Alpha Hydrae."

Martin McKenna reports from Maghera, Northern Ireland: "I did a visual watch between 03.20 and 06.20 local time on Dec. 13th and saw 157 meteors of which 135 were Geminids. I saw 57 Geminids in the first hour and my first sight of the session was 3 Geminids in 2 seconds. Many of them fell in triplets. I can't wait to see the peak!"

Indeed, the best is yet to come. Forecasters expect rates to double or more during the next 24 hours. The best time to look is between 10 pm local time on Sunday night (Dec. 13) and sunrise on Monday morning (Dec. 14). Get the full story from Science@NASA.

UPDATED: Geminid Meteor Gallery
[sky map] [meteor radar] [Geminid counts]

AFTER THE STORM: Last week, a powerful blizzard paralyzed parts of the US midwest. Mike Hollingshead of Blair, Nebraska, walked outside after the storm and this is what he saw:

Sunlight shining through ice crystals had produced a bright pair of sundogs and a vivid circumzenithal arc. "These tend to appear on the backside of a storm's clearing line as ice crystals blow through the air," notes Hollingshead. "It's a beautiful sight but not a ton of fun to photograph at 5o F with winds blowing 40 mph."

Photographers, bundle up! More weather is on the way and there should be plenty to see after the storm.


December Northern Lights Gallery
[previous Decembers: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2001, 2000]


Explore the Sunspot Cycle

       
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 December 13, 2009 there were 1086 potentially hazardous asteroids.
Dec. 2009 Earth-asteroid encounters:
Asteroid
Date(UT)
Miss Distance
Mag.
Size
2009 WV25
Dec. 1
2.9 LD
16
65 m
2009 WA52
Dec. 5
8.2 LD
20
23 m
2002 WP
Dec. 6
71.2 LD
16
950 m
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 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 and Heliospheric Observatory
  Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
STEREO
  3D views of the sun from NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Daily Sunspot Summaries
  from the NOAA Space Environment Center
Current Solar Images
  from the National Solar Data Analysis Center
Science Central
   
  more links...
   
©2008, SpaceWeather.com -- This site is penned daily by Dr. Tony Phillips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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